In an effort to flag the students who may be struggling with a substance abuse disorder, the Midway Independent School District (ISD) School Board recently unanimously gave a green signal to extend the measures of its current student drug policy. As per the development, the school would be widening its random drug testing policy to students with a parking permit at the school.
Till now, the drug test policy was restricted to the students of grades seventh through 12th who are involved in extracurricular activities. As a result, the school was only able to test nearly 30 percent of the student population with random drug tests that were conducted 10 times a year. However, with the new measure, the school would be able to cover a wider number, thereby, helping more students to stay away from the vice of addiction.
“Our entire goal was to cast a wider net … to catch more students into a restorative way when they do get involved in drugs,” said Assistant Superintendent Jeanie Johnson.
Following the approval, the school will randomly select students using their student identification numbers to submit their urine samples to an authorized third party on behalf of the school district. Any student found guilty of drug abuse would be asked to give up his/her on-campus parking privileges until they attend a class with a parent and speak to a school counselor. Also, he/she would be mandated to take a drug education course and submit to testing again.
However, the defined consequences are not to punish the students, but to identify the ones who may be at the risk of developing an addiction. “The idea is to be able to flag kids that might have issues and help them through those issues not to provide a punishment for them,” said Midway I.S.D. Public Information Officer Traci Marlin.
Meanwhile, according to the school, the tests that cost $12.50 each would screen the students for a variety of drugs, including amphetamines, opiates, cocaine, PCP, marijuana, ecstasy, and steroids. During the 2017-18 school year, the school paid Southwest Consortium (the drug testing company) $14,000 for drug testing services. Hence, post approval, the board plans to allocate an additional $5,600 to cover the cost of testing additional students added to the existing number.
Importance of drug testing in schools
Addiction in school students is quite common. Majority of the students develop addiction while trying to find ways to beat their stress and tension with illicit drugs and alcohol. And because adolescents and teenagers have an underdeveloped frontal lobe (region of the brain responsible for controlling impulses, making decisions, regulating mood), they are highly vulnerable to abuse substances.
Of late, addiction to Phencyclidine (PCP) has surfaced as a common problem among school students. PCP is an infamous hallucinogenic commonly laced with other drugs, especially marijuana. Since marijuana usage is common among school students, many students end up developing a PCP addiction as well.
Hence, with the school introducing drug testing policies, it will be easier to segregate students who run a higher risk of developing an addiction from those who don’t. The identified students can further be counseled and treated for the symptoms of addiction. Additionally, taking measures like setting up a Student Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) can further help students set boundaries and avoid resorting to drugs for any of their troubles.
Seeking treatment for PCP addiction
Commonly known as angel dust, PCP was originally developed as an anesthetic for surgery. Since the drug can cause side effects like agitation, delusions, and irritations, its use was discontinued for medical purposes. However, it was soon re-discovered for its sedative effects. According to experts, prolonged use of the drug is likely to cause withdrawal symptoms like seizures, cravings, headaches and sweating.
Fortunately, the condition can be managed by taking PCP addiction treatment. If you are looking for PCP rehab centers near you, get in touch with Sovereign Health to get world-class treatment and counseling. Call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with our certified representatives to know more about our modern PCP rehab centers.