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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

High school athletes should not be drug tested

    By Annica Wu
    Staff Writer

    In the sports industry, there have been many reports of athletes who have used drugs and steroids to enhance their performance. However, drug testing should not be administered in high school sports because it is expensive and ineffective.
    It has been legal for high schools to test for drugs since the Supreme Court ruled on this in 1995. However, in New Jersey, when 500 students were tested, less than one percent tested positive, while the test itself costed nearly $100,000.

    “With school drug tests costing about $24 a pop,” stated Dr. Sharon Levy to the Washington Post. “That works out to about $20,000 per year.”
    According to Forbes magazine, testing in Texas cost over $1 million over a span of 8 years.
    Many high schools in the Los Angeles area have stopped drug testing because it is ineffective and expensive.
    The Los Angeles Times stated, “ studies have never proven that testing effectively discourages drug use. And, [high schools] often add substantial charges–$14 or more per test–for the program to students’ activity fees.”
    The law requires registered nurses or doctors to administer the test. However, many schools do not have access to a full time nurse, and using doctors from nearby hospitals would require fees that public schools cannot cover.
    Thus, most public schools abandon the idea.
    Furthermore, the tests simply are not effective.
    There is also a lack of scientific evidence that would suggest that drug tests are effective deterrents at all.
    With routine drug tests, students have found ways to ensure their tests results are negative, such as avoiding drugs before the testing as well as continuing to use drugs that the test will not detect.
    School drug programs also don’t test for the one drug that is the most popular among high school students, alcohol.
    Finally, the American Academy for Pediatrics (AAP) reports that the presence of drug testing does not have an effect on drug use.
    The AAP writes that they “oppose widespread implementation of drug testing as a means of achieving substance abuse intervention goals because of the lack of evidence for its effectiveness,”
    Drug testing should not be carried out in high schools because it is too expensive and ineffective. Testing should be kept on college and professional teams where funding is available.

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    High school athletes should not be drug tested