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Should high school athletes be drug tested? Show more Show less
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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?

No, high school athletes should not be drug tested Show more Show less

Drug testing student-athletes will make matters worse. It will break the trust between students and authority figures in schools, foster an environment of mistrust and sus[cion, waste money, and violate rights.
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It might encourage use of more dangerous substances

Drugs that show up on school drug tests are less dangerous and associated with very low mortality rates. But, if a student is aware of their school's drug testing policy, they may seek out drugs and substances that will go undetected. These are often substances far more lethal and dangerous.
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The Argument

Schools should not drug test their high school athletes because the policy may lead to unintended consequences. A drug testing policy may drive students to use far more dangerous drugs and substances that are less detectable by a drug test.[1] Because marijuana is the most detectable drug, with traces of THC remaining in the body for weeks, students may take drugs that exit the body quickly, like methamphetamine, MDMA, or inhalants.[2] Moreover, knowing alcohol is less detectable, they may also engage in binge drinking, creating health and safety risks for students and the community as a whole. [2] Drug testing high school athletes might encourage the switch from drugs that are less associated with morbidity and mortality, like marijuana, to drugs that can have consequences closer to death.

Counter arguments

High school athletes should be drug tested by their schools. If there are students that are willing to turn to far more dangerous substances because they are less detectable, it is likely that they already have problems with drug use with more moderate drugs like marijuana. The randomness of high school drug testing can still catch and get these students the help, treatment, and intervention they need.[3] However, choosing not to drug-test at all does not help to accomplish that goal. Moreover, instead of turning to more dangerous drugs or substances, many students may choose to forgo drugs altogether, afraid of punishment. Drug testing high school athletes is a way to potentially reduce drug use in schools and quickly intervene on behalf of students who need help.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.aclu.org/other/why-student-drug-testing-does-not-work
  2. https://www.drugpolicy.org/sites/default/files/drug_testing_booklet.pdf
  3. https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/drug-testing/frequently-asked-questions-about-drug-testing-in-schools
This page was last edited on Wednesday, 4 Nov 2020 at 05:28 UTC

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