Muir Wood therapist, David Laing

Drug Testing in Junior High: Too Soon?

The drug testing of junior high students before they are allowed to play organized school sports is a new phenomenon in some parts of the country. Some parents welcome it while others are furious at what they perceive to be an intrusion upon their child’s civil rights. Who’s right?

The Argument for Drug Testing in Middle Schools

School officials and parents who are on board with the practice of drug testing kids before they enroll in sports say that it helps to do two things: (1) identify kids who may be taking performance-enhancing drugs in order to augment sports performance, and (2) identify kids who are using drugs recreationally. Early identification of a problem can mean early intervention, which in turn can lead to lower risks of:

  • Falling behind academically or being on academic probation
  • Lifelong incidences of addiction
  • Accidents caused by being under the influence
  • Fatal overdoses

The Argument Against Drug Testing in Junior High

Parents who believe that their children absolutely should not be drug tested say that there are a number of reasons to protect their rights. Among them are:

  • Middle school kids are simply too young to require drug testing.
  • It creates an atmosphere of distrust that can be detrimental, especially if a drug abuse issue is in effect.
  • It should be a family issue and not a school issue.

Some parents are going so far as to not allow their children to try out for school sports when drug testing is a requirement. They say that it’s a waste of time and resources because it’s unlikely that very many are using performance-enhancing drugs at this age, and those who are drinking or smoking marijuana may be less likely to try out for sports teams in the first place.

What About the Kids?

Kids, for their part, often don’t care about the drug testing, especially if it means they can play on a team with their friends. And though many report that they know where to get drugs in their school and know kids who use them, they say it doesn’t happen a lot.

But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen or happen often enough to warrant the intervention of the school. And if parents haven’t yet realized that their child is abusing drugs or alcohol, what’s wrong with a little assistance from a reliable source?

Protecting Your Middle School-Aged Son From Drug Abuse

Whether or not you approve of drug testing in the schools, surveys show that kids are using drugs and drinking at a younger and younger age. If you are concerned that your son’s use of drugs has gotten to a point of urgency, don’t wait to find the support necessary to assist him in turning things around. Contact us at Muir Wood today.