Playing any type of sport in high school can require a lot of hard work and effort, between long practices, games, and budgeting your time. According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, roughly 55% of all high school students participate in at least one sport. Nearly a fourth of all high school students do at least one type of illicit drug, most popularly marijuana. Should highschools be drug testing their student-athletes?
Yes, high school athletes should be drug testedShow moreShow less
The number of students who use illicit drugs could decrease drastically if athletes were to be drug tested in high schools. Schools have a duty to protect and serve in the best interests of all their students.
It can result in students getting the help they need
The goal of drug tests in schools is not to punish students. Schools want to be able to intervene and ensure that if their students have a drug problem, they get access to treatment and resources needed for recovery .
High school athletes should be drug tested because if they are found to be using or abusing drugs, schools can then get them the proper help.
Drug testing can identify these students who have started using illicit drugs and may be able to even intervene before the student’s misuse takes a turn for the worse. Moreover, testing can single out students who already have serious issues with using drugs and would benefit from certain types of counseling or treatment. The primary purpose of random drug testing is not to punish students who use drugs but to prevent drug abuse and to help students already using become drug-free.
If schools find a positive drug test among any of their student-athletes, they can notify that student's parents and work directly with their parents to make sure that student gets the proper help. Alone, parents may not have the means nor resources to get the help their child needs, but in conjunction with schools, intervention may be easier to achieve.
High school athletes should be drug tested in schools because it will benefit the students who need treatment and intervention.
Drug testing high school athletes may deter them from participating in sports in the first place. If schools exclusively drug testing their student-athletes and students then subsequently choose not to participate in sports then no intervention or treatment measures can occur.
Drug testing policies may actually increase drug use. Students actively participating in extracurricular activities are less likely to do drugs because they do not have as much free time on their hands. A policy that drug tests students involved in sports will stop students from joining these school teams, giving these students more free time to turn to drugs.
Schools cannot get student-athletes the treatment or help they need if they are deterring students from becoming student-athletes in the first place.