Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Drug testing has great impact on use

The six school districts involved with the Federal Grant for Drug Testing in the Schools through the Wood County Educational Service Center recently concluded another year of testing. To determine the impact of the drug testing program, the students were asked to complete a survey to determine attitudes. The results were compared to last spring's survey results and the outcomes were dramatic.

Monthly marijuana use decreased from 7 percent to 3.6 percent, while monthly alcohol use decreased from 15.4 percent to 9.8 percent. Yearly use of marijuana was even more pronounced, decreasing form 10.6 percent to 6.5 percent, with yearly alcohol use decreasing by more than 10 percent, dropping from 31.6 percent to 21 percent. To put this in perspective, the 2009 National Partnership Attitude Tracking Survey found that marijuana use by students in grades 9-12 increased by 19 percent for yearly use, and monthly alcohol use increased by 11 percent.

The survey seems to indicate that the expanded drug testing, made possible by the grant, has been very effective in changing not only attitudes, but actual student behavior.

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