Things to Know For Student Drug Testing

Many schools are using student drug testing as part of their regular activities. According to Ring Walt survey May 2008, a 16.5% of U.S. school districts have adopted/implemented student random illicit drug testing programs. Schools are conducting student drug test using different methods like random drug testing for detecting and deterring any drug abuse. It is a part of comprehensive drug preventions and treatment programs. Before starting the drug testing program school authorities collects information to determine the scope and process of testing program.

Before starting the drug testing
The following are few things that need to be clear before starting any drug test in school. As per the law, the school authorities can conduct drug tests on students with permission of their parents, but there are some issues to be addressed.

  • Decision of conducting the test: It is not compulsory that every school should conduct a drug test. School board with consent of parents decides on the drug test.
  • Develop the plan of drug testing: Planning process starts immediately after deciding to conduct student drug testing. The plan should include every detail of drug testing process like on which date test is conducted, which type of test is used and on whom it is conducted. With the effective planning, the drug testing program can be a success.

Process of conducting the test
The following are the main steps in the process of drug testing program.

Selection of type of testing: There are different types of drug testing procedure available. From past many years it is observed that urinalysis is most commonly used for drug testing and recommended by many federally regulated authorities. Most of the schools use urinalysis as their testing method in drug testing program because of its reliability, accuracy and fairness in testing.

  • Collection of specimen: Usually school staff members accompany the student to the specimen collection site for avoiding unnecessary specimen alteration. Temperature of specimen is verified at the time of collection to confirm whether the specimen is valid or not.
  • Confirmation test: After specimen collection, the initial drug testing is conducted mostly at the school because the process is easy and simple. The specimen that resulted positive in the initial drug test will be taken to lab for confirmatory test.

The purpose of drug testing is to identify drug abusers and help them become free from the abuse. Drug tests bring awareness among the students, parents and school administration and allow them to learn the importance of drug testing.

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