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[Repost] School drug tests don’t work, but ‘positive climate’ might

School drug tests don’t work, but ‘positive climate’ might.

From the 14th January Science Daily article

School drug testing does not deter teenagers from smoking marijuana, but creating a “positive school climate” just might, according to research reported in the January issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

An estimated 20 percent of U.S. high schools have drug testing; some target students suspected of abusing drugs, but often schools randomly test students who are going out for sports or clubs. The policies are controversial, partly because there is little evidence they work. And in the new study, researchers found no effects on high schoolers’ drug experimentation.

Of 361 students interviewed, one third said their school had a drug testing policy. Over the next year, those kids were no less likely than other students to try marijuana, cigarettes or alcohol.

“Even though drug testing sounds good, based on the science, it’s not working,” said Daniel Romer, Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania Annenberg Public Policy Center in Philadelphia.

At best, Romer said, the policies might convince kids to lay off the drug their school is testing for — which is most commonly marijuana. But even if that’s true, Romer added, students in school sports and clubs are actually not the ones at greatest risk of developing drug problems. “So as a prevention effort,” Romer said, “school drug testing is kind of wrong-headed.”

So what does work? In this study, there was evidence that a positive school climate might help.

 

Read entire article here

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January 22, 2014 - Posted by | Public Health | , , ,

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