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Mixed Results for H.S. Drug Testing

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High-school students who face mandatory drug testing may be less likely to use drugs in the short term, but the protective effect doesn’t last, according to a new U.S. Department of Education study.

USA Today reported July 18 that a survey of students at 36 schools found that 16.5 percent of students who attended schools that received federal grants for drug testing used illicit drugs, compared to 21.9 percent of students at other schools. Students also said that drug-testing requirements didn’t discourage them from participating in extracurricular activities.

However, drug-use rates were identical among students at testing- and non-testing schools who did not take part in extracurricular activities, suggesting that drug testing of student athletes and leaders did not have any influence on the behavior of other students.

Also, students at both types of schools were equally likely to say they planned to use drugs in the future.

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