Home FeedbackSearch                                              

Drug Use Data
SDT Video
Coalition Reports
SDT Data
Testing Methods
Create a Policy
SDT Legal Actions
Schools with SDT
SAP Components
About Us

Welcome to the Student Drug Testing Coalition web site. The Coalition is a project of the Drug-Free Projects Coalition, Inc.

The site is maintained to provide technical resources, materials and information about student drug testing programs—a proven deterrent to student drug use—and contains reports on current research and student drug use data; student-drug testing court case rulings; summaries of school policies; links to other resources, and more.  Please feel free to contact us with suggestions on ways we may improve the value of this site for you.

There is a clear correlation between drug use and declining academic performance.

"Drug-impaired students undermine our country's ability to compete on the world stage. Unfortunately, compared with many of our international competitors, the U.S. is operating at a handicap because too many of our youth, indeed our citizens, are abusing drugs. America represents four percent of the worlds population, yet it consumes two-thirds of the world's illegal drugs."

Quoted from a new report documenting the fact that student drug use is compromising academic success in U. S. schools. To read the full report by Judy Kreamer, Gary M. Fields, Ph.D., et al., titled "The Overlooked Cause of Children Being Left Behind: Drug Use Compromising Academic Success," published by Educating Voices, Inc., 2008, click here.

Results of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University’s (CASA) twelfth annual National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse are, in CASA’s word “unprecedented,” revealing “. . . that the corridors and classrooms of our nation’s middle and high schools are so infested with drugs that for many students school days have become school daze. Parents should wake up to the reality that their children are going each day to schools where drug use, possession and sale are as much a part of the curriculum as arithmetic and English.”—Joseph A. Califano, Jr., Chairman and President

August 2007 National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse XII: Teens and Parents http://www.casacolumbia.org/ProductSearch.aspx?CATID=121920079233524

CASA’s scathing indictment of the current drug situation in our nation’s schools has sounded the alarm. Parents and school administrators should heed the report as a call to action to take whatever steps are necessary to stop this trend of accepting drug use as the norm. “Drug-infested schools” should be an unacceptable reality to all who care about the health, education and welfare of U.S. children.

The members of the Student Drug-Testing Coalition applaud Mr. Califano for the following statement made in the CASA report: “Those responsible for this appalling situation should be held politically and legally responsible, in state and local elections and in the courts, for the damage that is being done to children forced to attend drug-infested schools.”

Parents and educators need to know if their elected representatives are among those supporting pro-drug issues such as legalizing and promoting marijuana as a medicine. Such support tells young people that, not only is marijuana a harmless drug, but that it is illicit without a basis in fact. Concluding, therefore, that all the anti-drug messages from parents and educators and school prevention programs should not be considered credible if marijuana is considered a medicine. You must challenge the local and national media when it is supportive of a pro-drug/pro-legalization messages. Do not let pro-drug advocates such as the ACLU, the Drug Policy Alliance, the Marijuana Policy Project, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws et. al. tell your communities and schools what is best for your children or dictate what school prevention programs will be implemented. Learn about what other schools have done to successfully reduce drug use—listen to what educators and administrators have to say about decreasing and deterring drug use in their schools in this new report from the Coalition.

Do student drug-testing programs negatively impact students?
A 2008 review and analysis of school report-card data on 52 New Jersey school districts examined the question of how a student random drug-testing program impacts student culture and morale in school districts where these prevention programs have been implemented as compared to non-testing districts. The results of the review and analysis are available in a new report from the Student Drug-Testing Coalition.

Another reason to consider implementing a student random drug-testing program:

"The foundation for later substance use is set for most people by the time they finish high school," Alicia C. Merline, MA, “Substance use is still common at age 35, U-M study finds,” University of Michigan News Service, 05 Jan 2004.

Using data on respondents to the Monitoring the Future survey who graduated high school between 1977 and 1983, University of Michigan researchers randomly selected graduates from this group to participate in follow-up surveys every two years. What they found in this follow-up study was that substance use was surprisingly prevalent at the start of mid-life and that there was a high level of stability of substance use over the 18-year time period by those who had used drugs or drank heavily by their senior year in high school.

Summary of findings:
–Those using marijuana by their senior year were 8 times more likely to use it at age 35 than those who had not tried it by the 12th grade.
–Those using any illicit drug other than marijuana by their senior year were 5 times more likely to use cocaine and 3 times more likely to misuse prescription drugs at age 35 compared to students who had not used any illicit drug by their senior year.
–Those who drank heavily were 3 times more likely to drink heavily at 35 years of age compared to those who did not drink heavily as high school seniors.
Source: Alicia C. Merline, MA, et al., “Substance Use Among Adults 35 Years of Age: Prevalence, Adulthood Predictors, and Impact of Adolescent Substance Use,” January 2004, Vol 94, No. 1, American Journal of Public Health, 96-102.
To read the full study: http://www.ajph.org/content/vol94/issue1/

At their 114th annual meeting, 16 Oct 2007, the International Association of Chiefs of Police have adopted a Resolution in support of student drug testing prevention programs. To read the full resolution click here.

. . . and some people are still heard to say “. . . but it’s only marijuana.”
Among persons aged 18 or older, those who first used marijuana
before age 12 were twice as likely to have serious mental illness
in the past year as those who first used marijuana at age 18
or older. Recent research points to an association between
early marijuana use and a heightened risk of developing
schizophrenia or other psychological disorders.

Source: “Age at First Use of Marijuana and Past Year Serious Mental Illness,” The NSDUH Report, May 3, 2005, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/2k5/MJageSMI/MJageSMI.htm

Teens driving drugged—and it is not from alcohol

Maybe your teen does not use drugs, but many other teens are drug users.

Can you be so certain that the teen drivers your child rides with are not drug users?

Can school administrations be certain that those with parking privileges are not driving on school property while under the influence of a drug—either illicit drugs or alcohol?

Findings from the Pride Survey National Summary 2006 suggest that illicit drugs may be more prevalent than alcohol in teenage impaired driving. The data showed that nearly 14 percent of 12th grade students say they use illicit drugs in cars—more than say they use alcohol in cars.

10th and 11th grade students also showed similar responses. The survey did not ask if the drug user was the driver.

Data summary on 12th grade student drug use while in cars:
–10.1 percent used alcohol
–12.9 percent used marijuana
–13.6 percent used any illicit drug

Concerned parents and school administrators can take steps to deter drug use among teen drivers. If your school has a student random drug-testing program, propose expanding
the program eligibility to cover students with parking permits or privileges. If your school does not have a random testing program, consider starting one. It is a proven deterrent to drug use—and who knows, maybe the life you save will be that of your own teen.

Source of data: PRIDE Surveys newsletter January 16, 2007

New report from CADCA:
A new two-page report from CADCA documents the evidence of the link between drug use and violence.  The report is titled: The Inextricable Link: The Relationship Between Alcohol, Drug Use and Violence Among Students and may be found at: http://cadca.org/CoalitionResources/PP-documents/TheInextricableLink.pdf

Studies affirm drug use leads to poor academic performance 

Research on student drug use and academic performance continues to support a relationship between poor academic performance and drug use (this includes alcohol use). The most recent study using data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002-2004 continues to affirm this relationship. 

Researchers found that the frequency of the use of alcohol and marijuana during the past month was related to academic performance. Of students reporting an A or B average:

-72.2% were students who did not use marijuana in the past month as compared with 58% of those who used marijuana on 1 to 4 days in the past month and 44.9% of those who used marijuana on 5 or more days during the past month.
-72.5% were students who did not use alcohol during the past month as compared with 67.1% of those who used (but did not binge on) alcohol in the past month and 57.7% of those who engaged in past month binge alcohol use.

Source:  U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Survey on Drug Use and Health,  “Academic Performance and Substance Use among Students Aged 12 to 17: 2002, 2003, and 2004." The NSDUH Report, Issue 18, May 2006.

PRIDE Survey data finds adolescent substance use correlates with academic achievement
According to data analysis of the PRIDE Surveys National Summary 2005/2006, academic performance of students surveyed showed a correlation between student drug use and academic achievement. High percentages of students using marijuana and/or alcohol on a monthly basis were shown to rarely make good grades.

Summary of data analysis:
–38% of students who rarely make good grades were also monthly marijuana users
–Only 7% of students claiming monthly marijuana use frequently made good grades
–49% of students who used alcohol monthly had poor grade performance
–Only 18% of students claiming monthly alcohol use were academic achievers
–Students with low academic performance also were shown to disproportionately represent those students reporting truancy, discipline problems, gang membership and bullying

Source: PRIDE Newsletter, November 16, 2006

According to a recent report from PRIDE surveys, parents dramatically underestimate alcohol and drug use by adolescents as young as 11 years of age.

Sixth-graders reporting use                    Parents saying sixth-grader uses        

21%  reported alcohol use                    5% said there was alcohol use

8.3% reported drug use                         0.9% said there was drug use

Twelfth-graders reporting use               Parents saying twelfth-grader uses

68% report alcohol use                         41% said there was alcohol use

36% report drug use                             15% said there was drug use     

Source: Pride Surveys National Summary for Grades 6-12, 2004-05  www.pridesurveys.com

Click here to read what student drug-testing program researchers, a legal authority and the president’s drug policy expert had to say about the Michigan student drug-testing study when it was released to the public, along with an analysis and technical review offered by the Student Drug-Testing Coalition and Dr. Robert DuPont, a student drug-testing researcher, of why this study should not be relied upon as accurate and authoritative on the subject of student drug-testing programs. 


Contact Information

If you need more information please feel free to contact us by clicking this link.


How many U. S. school districts randomly drug test students?

As of May 2008, it is estimated that a minimum of 16.5% of U.S. school districts have adopted/implemented student random illicit drug testing programs. This represents about 2,000 U. S. school districts. Frequency of adoption/implementation is currently about two districts per week and escalating. This represents a minimum of 1% of school districts per year at the current frequency rate. Click here for the full report, including a summary of the May 2008 Ringwalt, et al. survey on districts with student random drug testing.

Separating Fact From Fiction about student random drug testing is easy once you have viewed this video from the Coalition providing answers to the most-commonly asked questions about these prevention programs. The video features experts on legal and technical aspects of policies and programs, as well as educators, parents and students. Click here to view the video.