White House Announces Dates, Locations For 2008 Regional Drug Testing Summits

Washington, DC: The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) is once again sponsoring a series of regional summits to encourage middle-school and high school administrators to enact federally sponsored random student drug testing. The 2008 summits mark the fifth consecutive year that the White House is funding the symposiums, which are scheduled to take place this winter in Jacksonville, Florida (January 29), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (January 31), Albuquerque, New Mexico (February 6), and Indianapolis, Indiana (February 13).
“These summits fail to acknowledge the harsh realities of random student drug testing programs,” NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said. “These programs are humiliating, expensive failures. They fail to deter students from using drugs and alcohol, and they break down trust between teens and educators.”
According to the results of a two-year prospective study published in the Journal of School Health in November, random drug testing programs that target high school athletes do not reduce self-reported drug use and may encourage behaviors associated with “future substance use.”
Last year the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Council on School Health resolved, “There is little evidence of the effectiveness of school-based drug testing,” and warned that students subjected to random testing programs may experience “an increase in known risk factors for drug use.” The Academy also warned that school-based drug testing programs could decrease student involvement in extracurricular activities and undermine trust between pupils and educators.  (Full Report)

A 2003 cross-sectional study of national student drug testing programs previously reported, “Drug testing, as practiced in recent years in American secondary schools, does not prevent or inhibit student drug use.”
Since 2005, the US Department of Education has appropriated over $10 million dollars to enact random student drug testing programs in public schools and has sponsored over 20 regional summits.
Free registration to attend any of this year’s summits is available online at:
http://summits.csrincorporated.com/index.cfm.
For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org.

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