Mandatory Drug Testing

Mandatory Drug Testing

A fairly large amount of students participate in clubs and athletic activities after school every day. In the United States, 79% of middle and high school students regularly participate in after school activities and 55.5% participate in an athletic sport. Almost every school in the United States offers these extracurriculars, but these privileges have to be earned just like any other.

Besides the obvious requirement to keep an acceptable grade point average, many schools are also including a mandatory or randomized drug test for all students in competitive extracurricular activities. According to data collected in 2005, 65% of United States schools had randomized drug tests for students in after school activities and the number is estimated to have increased over 15% since then. Drug testing in schools is a logical step to do for obvious reasons. The most obvious is the health effects drug abuse has on your body and mind. These are significantly worse in teens and young adults, with most damage lasting the rest of their life. In the teen and early adult years of life, your brain is going through important developments that have a lifelong effect, and drug abuse can damage and slow down this development. Excessive drug abuse has been proven to almost halt it and has caused significant brain damage.

Another common problem specifically in the athletic activities is the use of steroids. These performance enhancing drugs give an unfair advantage to those who use them and they are illegal. Steroids damage your body by messing up hormone levels and can lead to violent mood swings, paranoia, and eventually it can cause heart disease.

The decision for schools to partake in randomized drug testing was a smart one and although it faces some opposition, it continues to be used in more schools every day. I believe that in order to partake in clubs and athletic activities that it is only right that you should be required to show up with a clear and clean mind.