Should High Schools Drug Test?


Emmanuel Ruiz

Schools throughout the country have thought of the idea of randomly drug testing all of their students. Although drug testing has some benefits, schools should not have to implement drug tests to their students in order to ensure that students aren’t using drugs.

There are a number of different ways that schools could prevent the use of drugs, not only within their school, but outside of it as well. Students would not, and should not, have to randomly prove that they are not using any drugs if they truly have some form of trust from their school, such as a school counselor or a teacher, for instance. Instead of drug testing students, schools should focus on classes that encourage students not to use drugs and also informs them of common drugs as well as their effects to their body. The teachers within the schools should be able to notice a change in behavior that may be the cause of drugs and because of this, could administer an individual drug test to that student.

Randomly drug testing all students is going to create more conflicts than resolutions. Drug testing alone will take up resources, not to mention the time and work that must be put into the tests by adults. Economic issues are something that should definitely be put into consideration in planning to drug test students. The average cost of a drug test is $42, and there are over 396,000 students in CPS.  If Chicago Public Schools were to begin drug testing, all of their students they would need over $16.5 million dollars to do so. Another problem would be having to actually take the test. Drug testing hundreds, if not thousands, of students is definitely going to be time consuming, which could have been spent learning in the classroom.

Some people argue that drug testing is an effective way to find students that use drugs and help them stop from using them. Although drug tests can be a way to find out which students are using drugs, drugs tests are not the best solution to catch wrongdoing students. Drug tests can only catch what is still in someone’s system at the time of the test, but does not assure the prevention of drug use for the future. Drug testing can also lead to students finding creative ways to pass drug tests such as using someone else’s urine or even using a detox product to get rid of substances in their bodies. The best option to go with would be to, as mentioned previously, focus on an informative class regarding drugs and making good decisions in life. By doing so, we’ll be able to inform students on what they are doing if they use drugs and how they can better themselves in order to better their future.

The idea of someday having to take a drug test shouldn’t be something that a student keeps in the back of his head. Instead, students should be thinking of new and creative methods to stop and prevent the use of drugs. Attempting to establish an informative, student-led class on drug effects is one way we can begin to stop and prevent the use of drugs within high school students.