"Urine drug testing fails at school and work." Let's keep our kids busy, monitor their performance and communicate instead.

This advertisement appeared in the National Review, the New Republic, the Weekly Standard, The Nation, Reason Magazine, the the American Prospect, and The Progressive in summer/fall of 2002.

This PSA also available as a camera-ready PDF for easy reproduction.
Drug Testing Fails At School And Work
  • Since marijuana remains detectable for as long as a month (while alcohol, heroin and cocaine are detectable for only a day or two1), testing will encourage students and workers to switch to more dangerous drugs. Can you imagine anything dumber?
  • The most effective method of preventing adolescent drug use is keeping youths active and learning after school when many parents are working and kids are not supervised.2 Why would we want to put up barriers to kids participating in after-school activities?
  • The most effective schools put in place a student assistance program that allows youngsters to anonymously seek or be referred to counseling if they show signs of problems. Shouldn't students perceive school administrators as their mentors rather than an extention of the police?
  • Based on the 9% of schools that have some form of drug testing, the National Research Council reports: "There is no scientific evidence regarding the effects of these programs, either on drug use or on the learning environment."3
  • One school system rejected testing when it found it would cost $8 million annually to test the 75,000 athletes at its 171 high schools.4 That's $46,000 per high school . . . $106 per student tested.

Let's Keep Our Kids Busy, Monitor Their Performance and Communicate.

Common Sense for Drug Policy
Mike Gray, Chair -- Robert Field, Co-Chair
1377-C Spencer Ave., Lancaster, PA 17603
www.csdp.org -- www.DrugWarFacts.org -- info@csdp.org

1 Hawks and Chiang, "Examples of Specific Drug Assays, Urine Testing for Drugs of Abuse," Research Monograph No. 73 (1986); McBay, "Interpretation of Blood and Urine Cannabinoid Concentrations," 33 J. Forensic Sci 875-83 (1988); Ambre, J. et al., "Urinary Excretion of Cocaine Benzoylecgonine and Ecgonine Methyl Ester in Human," J. Analytical Toxicology (1988); Ellis et al., "Excretion Patterns of Cannabinoid Metabolites After Last Use in a Group of Chronic Users," 38 Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics," 572-78 (1985).
2 Carmona, Maria and Kathryn Stewart, "A Review of Alternative Activities and Alternative Programs in Youth-Oriented Prevention," CSAP Technical Report No. 13, Washington, DC: Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, Dept. of Health and Human Services, 1996; Tierney, Joseph P., Jean Baldwin Grossman, and Nancy L. Resch, "Making a Difference: An Impact Study of Big Brothers/Big Sisters," Philadelphia, PA: Public/Private Ventures, November 1995; Zill, N., C. Nord & L. Loomis, "Adolescent Time Use, Risky Behavior, and Outcomes," 1995.
3 National Research Council, "Informing America's Policy on Illegal Drugs" 2001, p. 203.
4 Nancy Trejos and Alan Goldenbach, "Schools Uneasy on Random Drug Tests: Area Students, Parents Cite Privacy Concerns After High Court Ruling; Others Point to Costs," Washington Post, June 28, 2002, p. B1.