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Flanked by members of the Cabinet, President George W. Bush delivers remarks to the media during a press conference Tuesday, March 28, 2006, in the Rose Garden of the White House. White House photo by Paul Morse

White House pushes more schools to drug-test students

By Andy Sullivan Sun Mar 19, 9:12 AM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Student athletes, musicians and others who participate in after school activities could increasingly be subject to random drug testing under a program promoted by the Bush administration.

White House officials say drug testing is an effective way to keep students away from harmful substances like marijuana and crystal methamphetamine, and have held seminars across the country to promote the practice to local school officials.

But some parents, educators and school officials call it a heavy-handed, ineffective way to discourage drug use that undermines trust and invades students' privacy.

"Our money should be going toward educating young people, not putting them under these surveillance programs," said Jennifer Kern, a research associate at the Drug Policy Alliance, a non-profit group that has frequently criticized U.S. drug policy.

Requiring students to produce a urine sample or hair sample for laboratory testing is a relatively recent tactic in the United States ' decades-long "war on drugs," along with surveillance cameras and drug-sniffing dogs in school hallways.

Adults in the military and many workplaces have long been subject to testing, but U.S. courts have ruled that public schools cannot impose random tests on an entire student body.

The Supreme Court ruled in 1995 that schools can randomly test student athletes who are not suspected of drug use, and in 2002 ruled that all students who participate in voluntary activities, like cheerleading, band or debate, could be subjected to random tests.

Since then, the Bush administration has spent $8 million to help schools pay for drug testing programs. The White House hopes to spend $15 million on drug-testing grants in the next fiscal year.

Roughly 600 school districts now use drug tests out of about 15,000 nationwide, according to officials from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

White House officials liken drug testing to programs that screen for tuberculosis or other diseases, and said students who test positive don't face criminal charges.

The threat of a drug test also helps students resist peer pressure, said John Horton, an associate deputy director at the drug-control office.

JUST SAY 'NO I CAN'T'

"If I'm at a party and somebody says, 'Hey, do you want a hit of dope?' if I can look at that person and say, 'No, I can't,' then that's one more tool to say no," Horton said at a recent drug-testing conference in Virginia .

Critics say the White House's emphasis on testing comes at the expense of counseling, treatment and education programs.

Studies are mixed on the programs' effectiveness. Several individual schools reported declines in student drug use after implementing random testing, and a survey of 65 Indiana principals found drug use decreased at more than half of the schools where testing occurred.

But a 2003 national survey of 76,000 students found no difference in drug use between schools that test students and those that don't.

Illicit drug use remained steady among high school students between 1997 and 2004, with roughly half of high school seniors saying they had tried illicit drugs at some point, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Several school administrators said the White House presentation had persuaded them of the benefits of random testing. But Baltimore social worker Karen Harris-Waites said many in her school district would probably see a mandatory program as too intrusive.

That's happened in other school districts. Williamsburg , Virginia , decided to adopt a voluntary testing program earlier this month instead of a mandatory program.

And Roanoke County , Virginia , rejected a mandatory program in 2004. "It just seems to be very intrusive," said Roanoke County parent Larry Morgan. "Just because they say you can do something doesn't mean it's good policy."


Bill requiring coal miners to take drug tests passes House panel

JOE BIESK

Associated Press

FRANKFORT , Ky. - Coal miners would have to take drug tests before getting certified by the state and after serious accidents, under a bill that cleared a House committee Tuesday.

Prospective miners would have to pass a drug test before getting their certificates from the state. Those who fail the test two or more times would have to seek treatment similar to DUI offenders, said state Rep. Robin Webb, the bill's sponsor.

Miners would have to pay for the tests up front, and their employers would reimburse them later. Miners who test positive would lose their state certification.

Coal operators also could get a 5 percent discount on their worker's compensation rates by participating in a state-approved drug testing program. Employers who want the discount would likely have to require random drug testing, said LaJuana Wilcher, secretary of the Kentucky Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet.

"A program that does not include random testing is not very effective," Wilcher said.

Many coal operators already voluntarily require their employees to take random drug tests, said Webb, D-Grayson. The bill would give them an added bonus by cutting their worker's compensation rates, she said.

A blasting accident three years ago in a Floyd County underground mine brought the issue of drug abuse among miners to the forefront. The blast killed one man and seriously injured another. Investigators found marijuana on the scene, and an employee said he saw miners snorting painkillers.

State regulators convened a task force and conducted a series of public hearings in which many coal operators and miners said on-the-job drug abuse had become a widespread problem.

Webb's legislation was based on the task force's recommendations.

It cleared the House Natural Resources and Environment Committee without opposition and now heads to the full House for consideration.

Steve Earle of the United Mine Workers of America said the bill would be a "first step to eliminating drug and alcohol abuse among miners."

Bill Caylor, president of the Kentucky Coal Association, said companies were "100 percent" behind the legislation.

---

The legislation is House Bill 572.


US court upholds school drug tests

BBC NEWS WORLD

Friday, 28 June, 2002 , 07:17 GMT 08:17 UK

US Supreme Court

The Supreme Court judges were divided 5-4

The American Supreme Court has given high schools the right to test all children who take part in extra-curricular activities for drugs.

Before now, drugs tests were only permitted for school athletes. But the court ruling extends this principle to other competitive and team activities, from cheer-leading to chess.

The judges said the issue they were debating was a serious national problem, and that testing was a justifiable way of addressing schools' concerns over drug abuse.

But critics say the ruling will lead to less involvement in after-school activities and more drug problems among the young.

Oklahoma test case

Ecstasy tablets

The case before the judges involved a former Oklahoma high school honors student who competed on a quiz team and sang in the choir.

Lindsey Earls, who described herself as a goody-two-shoes, tested negative for drugs but decided to sue her school.

By a 5-4 vote, Supreme Court judges upheld the school's programme, which requires students who want to take part in after-school activities to submit to random urinalysis.

Students are tested at the start of the school year and then randomly at other times throughout the year.

A student who refuses to take the test or who tests positive more than twice cannot take part in competition for the rest of the school year.

"Because this policy reasonably serves the school district's important interest in detecting and preventing drug use among its students, we hold that it is constitutional," said Justice Clarence Thomas.

One of the judges said that school drugs tests offered adolescents an easy reason to decline the pressure to experiment with drugs, since they could tell friends that they intended to take part in after-school activities.


OSH ANSWERS:

Why should a workplace look at substance abuse issues?

The fact that some people use substances such as alcohol or illicit drugs, or that some people misuse prescription drugs is not new. The awareness that the abuse of substances may affect the workplace just as the workplace may affect substance abuse is, however, increasing in acceptance. Many aspects of the workplace today require alertness, and accurate and quick reflexes. An impairment to these qualities can cause serious accidents, and interfere with the accuracy and efficiency of work. Other ways that substance abuse can cause problems at work include:

  • after-effects of substance use (hangover, withdrawal) affecting job performance
  • absenteeism, illness, and/or reduced productivity
  • preoccupation with obtaining and using substances while at work, interfering with attention and concentration
  • illegal activities at work including selling illicit drugs to other employees,
  • psychological or stress-related effects due to substance abuse by a family member, friend or co-worker that affects another person's job performance.

Overview of Findings from the 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Office of Applied Studies

Acknowledgments

This report was prepared by the Division of Population Surveys, Office of Applied Studies, SAMHSA, and by RTI International, a trade name of Research Triangle Institute, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Work by RTI was performed under Contract No. 283–98–9008. Contributors and reviewers at RTI listed alphabetically include Jeremy Aldworth, Kortnee Barnett-Walker, Katherine R. Bowman, Janice M. Brown, Patrick Chen, James R. Chromy, Andrew Clarke, Elizabeth Copello, David B. Cunningham, Teresa R. Davis, Jessica E. Duncan, Steven L. Emrich, Joe D. Eyerman, Ralph E. Folsom, Jr., G. G. Frick, Eric A. Grau, Jennie L. Harris, David C. Heller, Laurel Hourani, Larry A. Kroutil, Amy Licata, Bing Liu, Mary Ellen Marsden, Christine Murtha, Dawn Odom, Lisa E. Packer, Michael R. Pemberton, Michael A. Penne, Kristine L. Rae, Avinash C. Singh, Thomas G. Virag (Project Director), Michael Vorburger, Jill Webster, Matt Westlake, and Li-Tzy Wu. Contributors at SAMHSA listed alphabetically include Peggy Barker, Joan Epstein, Joseph Gfroerer, Joe Gustin, Arthur Hughes, Joel Kennet, Dicy Painter, Ken Petronis, and Doug Wright. At RTI, Richard S. Straw edited the report with assistance from K. Scott Chestnut and Kathleen B. Mohar. Also at RTI, Diane G. Caudill prepared the graphics; Brenda K. Porter and Keri V. Kennedy formatted the tables; Joyce Clay-Brooks and Danny Occoquan formatted and word processed the report; and Pamela Couch Prevatt, Teresa F. Gurley, Kim Cone, David Belton, and Shari B. Lambert prepared its press and Web versions. Final report production was provided by Beatrice Rouse, Coleen Sanderson, and Jane Feldmann at SAMHSA.

Public Domain Notice

All material appearing in this report is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. However, this publication may not be reproduced or distributed for a fee without specific, written authorization of the Office of Communications, SAMHSA, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Citation of the source is appreciated. Suggested citation:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2003). Overview of Findings from the 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (Office of Applied Studies, NHSDA Series H-21, DHHS Publication No. SMA 03–3774). Rockville, MD.

Obtaining Additional Copies of Publication

Copies may be obtained, free of charge, from the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI), a service of SAMHSA. Write or call NCADI at:

National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information
P.O. Box 2345, Rockville, MD 20847–2345
1–301–468–2600, 1–800–729–6686, TDD 1–800–487–4889

Electronic Access to Publication

This publication can be accessed electronically through the Internet connections listed below:
http://www.samhsa.gov
http://www.oas.samhsa.gov

Originating Office

SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 16–105
Rockville, MD 20857

September 2003

Overview of Findings:  2002 National Survey on Drug Use & Health (NSDUH)


Discussion

This report presents findings from the 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). Conducted since 1971 and previously named the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA), the survey underwent several methodological improvements in 2002 that have affected prevalence estimates. As a result, the 2002 estimates are not comparable with estimates from 2001 and earlier surveys. The primary focus of the report is on the numbers of persons and rates for a variety of measures related to substance use and mental health in 2002, including comparisons across sociodemographic and geographic subgroups of the U.S. population. Some of the most important findings for 2002 are presented in the Highlights section of this report.

The prevalence estimates from the 2002 NSDUH are uniformly higher than the corresponding estimates from the 2001 NHSDA. Analyses to date of the effects of the methodological changes in 2002 (see Appendix C of the full report [OAS, 2003]) indicate that the higher prevalence in 2002 mostly reflect an increase in the reporting of these behaviors by survey respondents due to the $30 incentive payment and other survey improvements, not actual increases in the prevalence of these behaviors and problems. The results of these analyses were presented to a panel of survey methodology experts, who concluded that 2002 estimates should not be compared with 2001 and earlier estimates. The panel also concluded that it would not be possible to develop a method of "adjusting" pre-2002 data to make them comparable for trend assessment.

Although traditional comparisons of estimates across years cannot be used to examine recent trends, it is possible to study trends by constructing "retrospective" estimates of lifetime prevalence and incidence produced from the 2002 NSDUH data alone (see Chapters 5 and 6). These trends can be compared with the results from Monitoring the Future (MTF), a study sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Figure 16 shows the trends in lifetime marijuana use based on the 2002 NSDUH retrospective estimates for youths aged 16 to 20, as well as trends in lifetime marijuana use and past month marijuana use among the MTF 12th graders. The two data sources produce similar trends in lifetime prevalence, and the MTF trend in past month use also is similar to the trend for lifetime use. These trends also are consistent with trends for youths aged 12 to 17 and young adults aged 18 to 25 discussed in Chapter 5. They show very low rates of illicit drug use in the mid-1960s. In 1965, only 1.8 percent of youths had ever used marijuana. There were dramatic increases in use during the late 1960s and 1970s, and by 1979, 19.6 percent of youths had ever used marijuana. After that, use declined until 1991, when 11.5 percent of youths had ever used marijuana. The trend reversed during the 1990s, reaching 21.9 percent in 2001 before dropping slightly in 2002 to 20.6 percent.

Retrospective estimates based on 2002 NSDUH data are presented in Table 10.1 for selected substances along with related estimates from the 2002 MTF for youths and young adults. The NSDUH data show decreases from 2001 to 2002 in lifetime use of marijuana, LSD, and cigarettes among youths, but an increase for cocaine among youths. For young adults aged 18 to 25 during this time period, there was a slight increase in lifetime cocaine and Ecstasy use and a decrease in lifetime LSD use. These NSDUH results are generally consistent with MTF trends, with a few exceptions. MTF shows no change in lifetime cocaine use among youths, and it shows decreases in youth Ecstasy and alcohol use not found in the NSDUH estimates.

Estimates of incidence, or first-time use, also suggest that illicit drug use prevalence had been very low during the early 1960s, but began to increase during the mid-1960s as substantial numbers of young people initiated the use of marijuana. As discussed in Chapter 6, annual marijuana incidence increased from about 0.8 million new users in 1965 until it reached a peak of 3.5 million initiates per year during 1973 to 1978, just before the prevalence rates peaked. Interestingly, the annual number of marijuana initiates reached a low point in 1990 (1.6 million), then increased, 2 years before the increase in youth prevalence occurred. This finding demonstrates the value of analyzing the incidence data and using it to forecast future trends in prevalence. Assuming this relationship between incidence and prevalence continues to hold, the continuing high levels (between 2.5 and 3.0 million initiates per year) of marijuana incidence between 1995 and 2001 indicate that substantial declines in youth prevalence may not occur in the near future. However, the NSDUH incidence estimates for youths under age 18 indicate a decline from 2000 to 2001 (from 2.1 million to 1.7 million), which suggests that youth prevalence may decline. The NSDUH youth lifetime prevalence and MTF past month prevalence estimates do show decreases from 2001 to 2002. High rates of marijuana initiation during the 1970s among the cohort identified as the "baby boomers" has resulted in an increase in the numbers needing treatment for substance abuse problems. The increase in marijuana initiation rates during the 1990s may have the same result.

Figure 16.  Marijuana Use among NSDUH Youths Aged 16 to 20 and MTF 12 th Graders: 1975–2002

Figure 16     

Table 10.1 Comparison of NSDUH and MTF Prevalence Rates

 

NSDUH
12–17

MTF
8 th and 10 th

NSDUH
18–25

MTF
19–24

2001

2002

2001

2002

2001

2002

2001

2002

Marijuana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lifetime

21.9

20.6

30.3

29.0

53.0

53.8

56.3

56.1

Past Month

--

8.2

14.5

13.1

--

17.3

19.6

19.8

Cocaine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lifetime

2.3

2.7

5.0

4.9

14.9

15.4

12.4

12.9

Past Month

--

0.6

1.3

1.4

--

2.0

2.5

2.5

Ecstasy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lifetime

3.2

3.3

6.6

5.5

13.5

15.1

15.0

16.0

Past Month

--

0.5

2.2

1.6

--

1.1

2.2

1.6

LSD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lifetime

3.3

2.7

4.9

3.8

16.6

15.9

15.2

13.9

Past Month

--

0.2

1.3

0.7

--

0.1

1.0

0.4

Alcohol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lifetime

43.3

43.4

60.3

57.0

85.5

86.7

88.1

88.4

Past Month

--

17.6

30.3

27.5

--

60.5

67.1

67.7

Cigarettes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lifetime

37.3

33.3

44.7

39.4

71.3

71.2

--

--

Past Month

--

13.0

16.8

14.2

--

40.8

32.6

31.4

-- Not available.

Note: NSDUH data in this table are retrospective estimates from the 2002 data. MTF data for 8 th and 10 th graders are simple averages of estimates for those two grades reported in Johnston, O'Malley, and Bachman (2003a). MTF data for youths aged 19 to 24 are simple averages of estimates for youths aged 19–20, 21–22, and 23–24 reported in Johnston et al. (2003b).


Sources: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002.
References

American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4 th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.

Hawkins, J. D., Catalano, R. F., & Miller, J. Y. (1992). Risk and protective factors for alcohol and other drug problems in adolescence and early adulthood: Implications for substance abuse prevention. Psychological Bulletin, 112(1), 64–105.

Johnston, L. D., O'Malley, P. M., & Bachman, J. G. (2003a). Monitoring the Future national results on adolescent drug use: Overview of key findings, 2002 (NIH Publication No. 03–5374). Bethesda, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse. [Also available at http://www.monitoringthefuture.org/pubs.html and http://www.monitoringthefuture.org/pubs/monographs/overview2002.pdf]

Johnston, L.D., O'Malley, P.M., & Bachman, J.G. (2003b). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2002: College students and adults ages 19–40 (NIH Publication No. 03–5376, Vol. II). Bethesda, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse. [Also available at http://www.monitoringthefuture.org/pubs.html and http://www.monitoringthefuture.org/pubs/monographs/vol2_2002.pdf]

Kessler, R. C., Barker, P. R., Colpe, L. J., Epstein, J. F., Gfroerer, J. C., Hiripi, E., Howes, M. J., Normand, S.-L. T., Manderscheid, R. W., Walters, E. E., & Zaslavsky, A. M. (2003). Screening for serious mental illness in the general population. Archives of General Psychiatry, 60, 184–189.

Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2003). Results from the 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings (DHHS Publication No. SMA 03–3836, NHSDA Series H-22). Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies. [Also available at http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/p0000016.htm#standard]

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive. (2003). National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA) series. Retrieved July 14, 2003, from http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/SAMHDA/ and http://webapp.icpsr.umich.edu/cocoon/SAMHDA-SERIES/00064.xml  

 

Table A.1 Illicit Drug, Tobacco, and Alcohol Use in the Past Month among Persons Aged 12 or Older, by Age Group: Numbers in Thousands and Percentages, 2002

Past Month Use

Number of Users in Thousands

PERCENTAGES

Total

AGE GROUP (Years)

12–17

18–25

26 or Older

Any Illicit Drug 1

19,522

8.3

11.6

20.2

5.8

     Marijuana and Hashish

14,584

6.2

8.2

17.3

4.0

     Cocaine

2,020

0.9

0.6

2.0

0.7

          Crack

567

0.2

0.1

0.2

0.3

     Heroin

166

0.1

0.0

0.1

0.1

     Hallucinogens

1,196

0.5

1.0

1.9

0.2

          LSD

112

0.0

0.2

0.1

0.0

          PCP

58

0.0

0.1

0.0

0.0

          Ecstasy

676

0.3

0.5

1.1

0.1

     Inhalants

635

0.3

1.2

0.5

0.1

     Non-medical Use of
     Any Psychotherapeutic 2

6,210

2.6

4.0

5.4

2.0

          Pain Relievers

4,377

1.9

3.2

4.1

1.3

          Tranquilizers

1,804

0.8

0.8

1.6

0.6

          Stimulants

1,218

0.5

0.8

1.2

0.4

               Methamphetamine

597

0.3

0.3

0.5

0.2

          Sedatives

436

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

     Any Illicit Drug Other
     Than Marijuana 1

8,777

3.7

5.7

7.9

2.7

Any Tobacco 3

71,499

30.4

15.2

45.3

29.9

     Cigarettes

61,136

26.0

13.0

40.8

25.2

     Smokeless Tobacco

7,787

3.3

2.0

4.8

3.2

     Cigars

12,751

5.4

4.5

11.0

4.6

     Pipes

1,816

0.8

0.6

1.1

0.8

Alcohol

119,820

51.0

17.6

60.5

53.9

     Binge Alcohol Use 4

53,787

22.9

10.7

40.9

21.4

          Heavy Alcohol Use 4

15,860

6.7

2.5

14.9

5.9

*Low precision; no estimate reported.

1 Any Illicit Drug includes marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, or any prescription-type psychotherapeutic used non-medically. Any Illicit Drug Other Than Marijuana includes cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, or any prescription-type psychotherapeutic used non-medically.
2 Non-medical use of any prescription-type pain reliever, tranquilizer, stimulant, or sedative; does not include over-the-counter drugs.
3 Any Tobacco product includes cigarettes, smokeless tobacco (i.e., chewing tobacco or snuff), cigars, or pipe tobacco.
4 Binge Alcohol Use is defined as drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion (i.e., at the same time or within a couple of hours of each other) on at least 1 day in the past 30 days. Heavy Alcohol Use is defined as drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion on each of 5 or more days in the past 30 days; all Heavy Alcohol Users are also Binge Alcohol Users.

Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002.

30804

 

Table A.2 Substance Dependence or Abuse for Specific Substances in the Past Year among Persons Aged 12 or Older, by Age Group: Numbers in Thousands and Percentages, 2002

Past Year
Dependence or Abuse

Number with Dependence or Abuse in Thousands

PERCENTAGES

Total

AGE GROUP (Years)

12–17

18–25

26 or Older

Any Illicit Drug 1

7,116

3.0

5.6

8.2

1.8

     Marijuana and Hashish

4,294

1.8

4.3

6.0

0.8

     Cocaine

1,488

0.6 

0.4 

1.2 

0.6 

     Heroin

214

0.1 

0.1 

0.2 

0.1 

     Hallucinogens

426

0.2 

0.6 

0.8 

0.0 

     Inhalants

180

0.1 

0.4 

0.1 

0.0 

     Non-medical Use of Any Psychotherapeutic 2

2,018

0.9 

1.3 

1.9 

0.6 

          Pain Relievers

1,509

0.6 

1.0 

1.4 

0.5 

          Tranquilizers

509

0.2 

0.4 

0.5 

0.2 

          Stimulants

436

0.2 

0.4 

0.4 

0.1 

          Sedatives

154

0.1 

0.1 

0.1 

0.1 

Alcohol

18,100

7.7 

5.9 

17.7 

6.2 

Any Illicit Drug or Alcohol 1

22,006

9.4 

8.9 

21.7 

7.3 

Any Illicit Drug and Alcohol 1

3,210

1.4 

2.5 

4.2 

0.7 

*Low precision; no estimate reported.

NOTE: Dependence or abuse is based on definitions found in the 4 th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).

1 Any Illicit Drug includes marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, or any prescription-type psychotherapeutic used nonmedically.
2 Nonmedical use of any prescription-type pain reliever, tranquilizer, stimulant, or sedative; does not include over-the-counter drugs.

Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002.