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Student Drug Testing Fails To Reduce Teen Drug Use

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“Consistent with previous research, students in schools that conduct drug testing do not report less substance use”

Students subjected to student drug testing programs in school are no less likely to report consuming illicit drugs, tobacco, or alcohol than their peers, according to survey data published online in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

An international team of researchers from the United States, Israel, and Australia assessed the impact of school drug testing programs on a nationally representative sample of 943 high school students.

Investigators reported that the imposition of such programs had no positive impact on males’ self-reported drug use. Student drug screening programs were associated with minor reductions in females’ self-reported drug history, but only among women who attended schools with ‘positive’ environments. By contrast, investigators found that the enactment of drug testing programs in ‘negative’ school environments were most likely to be associated with “harmful effects on female youth”

Authors reported, “[C]onsistent with previous research, students in schools that conduct drug testing do not report less substance use. … In total, the results indicate that, to the extent drug testing is effective, it is primarily for female students in schools with positive climates.”

School 420They concluded: “The current research expands on previous findings indicating that school drug testing does not in and of itself deter substance use. Indeed, drug testing appears to be particularly ineffective for female students in negative climate schools, which tend to have higher substance use rates and thus are in most need of effective substance prevention programs. Interventions that improve school climate may have much greater efficacy. Thus, our findings indicate that drug testing should not be undertaken as a stand-alone substance prevention effort and that improvements in school climate should be considered before implementing drug testing.”

Previous studies assessing the impact of student drug screening programs, including a 2010 study by US Department of Education, have similarly failed to report that drug testing deterred student drug use.

More than one-fifth of US high schools impose some form of student drug testing, according to data compiled by the US Centers for Disease Control.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, “Student Drug Testing in the Context of Positive and Negative School Climates: Results from a National Survey,” appears online in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

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About Author

  • Heather Heaton

    I am recommending my new ebook (“Her Letters from Prison”) as motivational resource for reading pleasure, review, contemplation, and comment. My ebook is intended to be a “self-improvement” resource for ministries to women’s prisons and/or an inspirational (tell-it-like-it-is) resource for drug rehab/prevention programs. The book is non-fiction (It is what it is!); and the original letters are included as images for authenticity. You can go to http://www.heather-heaton.com and purchase “Her Letters from Prison”, Parts 1 and 2.

    I am a 34 year old college student trying to better my life, in spite of the baggage I carry from my previous life. To date, I have been quite successful in accomplishing this goal; and I will use the proceeds from the book to help support myself. My picture is posted, with my book descriptions, at Smashwords. I can be contacted using email at heatherheaton@rocketmail.com.

    The recently published ebook is entitled (“Her Letters from Prison: Part 1 & Part 2”) by Heather Heaton. The ebook was published at Smashwords (www.smashwords.com). A brief description of the ebook follows:
    1. Breanna tells the true story of her experiences in prison through her letters to her friend Heath. This is a story of survival and a quest to make a better life. The letters describe the daily shocking events of prison life involving drugs, sex, utter devastation and humiliation, anger, hopelessness, despair, and finally happiness and hope.

    2. Breanna’s “truth” stands still even as the world around her trembles and burns! Bad things do happen to good people; and Breanna is the perfect example of this truth.

    3. Breanna’s inner strengths and principles eventually win out over the corruption and evil that surrounds her. With God’s help, Breanna survives the horrible experiences of prison life and regains her self-confidence and hope for a better life.

    4. “Breanna” was an inmate at Tutwiler Women’s Prison from 2007 to 2009.

    5. “Breanna” benefitted from women’s prison ministries and the LIFE Tech-Wetumpka state-funded self-help program.

    The Introduction page of the ebook follows:

    Introduction:
    The story you are about to read is true. Unfortunately, it’s my story; and the truth is often much more intriguing than fiction. I have had to deal with this story (this situation) for more than the past ten years. I started living out this story with all the hopes and dreams of most (if not all) young American girls; and I will finish this story by realizing most of those hopes and dreams, even though they have been interrupted for a time (in prison) that seems like time and time again. Through it all, I have managed to learn some life lessons that I hope to give to you; and I am hoping that you can pick up on these lessons earlier in life than I have done. I should have learned these lessons long ago. If I had learned these lessons long ago, I assure you that I would not have written the material you are now reading. My hope is that nobody else has to endure what I have endured learning life lessons that should be given to youngsters and adolescents early in life by the ones who truly love them. But here again, there are probably other youngsters and adolescents, much like me, who will have to learn these life lessons painfully for themselves, the hard way — by experiencing them first hand. Well, if you continue to read my story, here’s what you will experience — drugs, sex, violence, prison, utter devastation/humiliation, anger, hopelessness, despair, and finally happiness and hope!

    If you don’t take me seriously and you follow in my path, you are going to experience false hope and disillusionment! You are going to experience broken trusts, by those whom you trusted most! You are going to experience pain and agony that brings you to the brink of self-destruction! You will lose your freedom! You will lose the right to think for yourself and to make your own decisions! You will lose your sense of self-worth and self-dignity! You are going to lose your ability to support yourself! You are going to lose your self-confidence! You are going to be victimized; and you can do little to avoid this! You will struggle and struggle and struggle just to get yourself back onto an even keel! But if you can ever manage to muster a tremendous mountain of stubbornness and determination, and if you can begin to think better of yourself, you will be able to recover most, but not all, of your ability to manage your own affairs while regaining some of your self-confidence and feeling of self-worth. I am just about to accomplish this in my life! Being just about able to accomplish this in my life is what has led me to (it has allowed me to) share my story with you. At first, I didn’t think I could ever share my story with anyone. But, I really don’t want you to actually share (live through) my experiences, even if you think you can handle it. Just read this story and do something positive in your own life.

    Note: Names have been changed to protect each individual’s privacy.

    Dedication:
    This work is dedicated to Valrise Bendolf (Clay County Dept. of Corrections Holding Facility), Jackie Ratliff (Kilby — Montgomery Womens’ Facility), Fawn Romie/Mr. Roberts/Gary Parsons (Life Tech) and all of Mr. Robert’s little roses that he so diligently cultivated. For all their good works, these people saved my life!

    I hope that you find this ebook both interesting and helpful.

    Sincerely,
    Heather Heaton
    heatherheaton@rocketmail.com
    http://www.heather-heaton.com
    http://www.herlettersfromprison.com

    Customer/Reader Review of “Her Letters from Prison”
    Heather, ever since you first contacted me about your ebooks (and when I received them) I have been giving them traction. At least two women on my case load checked them out, (like a library card so I would get them back) and were very moved by the content. I haven’t had another problem with their behavior since they read them. So…I know they are working. They should be required reading, ordered by a Judge before women are sentenced to probation, so that they would fully understand the consequences of their behavior. The coverage by The Prison Art Coalition blog is very good news both for Heather and for those that will read her story.

    They (“Her Letters from Prison: Parts 1 & 2) should be used as text books for the next Life Tech facility for Women!!! I wish I had some pull for money to build a better one. I pray for it.

    Gary Parsons
    Parole Officer
    State of Alabama — Board of Pardons & Parole