Researchers – who are in no way affiliated with the program being studied – weren't expecting these results. Research on the effect of random drug testing in high schools, or among athletes, has been mixed, and indicated that the most likely effects would come from students being less likely to use drugs because of fear that they'd be tested in the future, or from increased knowledge about how many of their peers were using drugs.
"People expect students to say, 'I'm not going to do drugs now because I might be tested tomorrow,' but that's just not how kids and teenagers think," said Cassino. "What seems to be happening is that students who've been tested start to realize what a big deal it is, and stay away from drugs in the future." The results also indicate that drug and alcohol use in middle school is relatively rare. For instance, only about 1 percent of 8 th graders give answers that indicate that they have ever used illicit drugs, and only about 14 percent indicate that they have ever drunk alcohol (other than in circumstances where it's allowed, such as religious ceremonies). Among students who were tested for drugs and alcohol at some point, though, that figure of 14 percent drops by more than half to 6 percent.
The study surveyed more than 3,500 students at New Jersey middle and high schools over a seven year period. The names of the schools participating in the surveys are not disclosed by the researchers in order to protect student confidentiality.
Additional information can be found at http://drugfreenj.org/assets/_control/content/files/2013suspicionless.pdf.Methodology, questions, and tables on the web at: http://publicmind.fdu.edu Radio actualities at 201.692.2846 For more information, please call 201.692.7032 SOURCE Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey