From the Mobile Press Register
Thursday, May 03, 2007
By VIRGINIA BRIDGES
BAY MINETTE -- Three Baldwin County juveniles reported this week that they drank bleach before taking drug tests in attempts to skew results, authorities said. And the county's sheriff said he was taken aback when he heard a high school student ask if consuming bleach would mask the use of drugs.
"Apparently, there is a rumor going around that you can drink bleach to pass a drug test. That is simply not true," said Maj. Anthony Lowery, a spokesman for the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office. "On top of doing illegal drugs, they are introducing another substance to their body that can cause additional damage."
On Wednesday afternoon, paramedics responded to a young man at the Baldwin County Courthouse in Bay Minette who collapsed after his Juvenile Court hearing, said Baldwin County Circuit Court Judge Carmen Bosch. The juvenile fainted because he had not eaten, but he told paramedics checking him out that he drank bleach earlier in the week in an attempt to throw off a pending drug test of his urine, Bosch said.
I am shocked that anyone in law enforcement is shocked by the ol' 'drink a little bleach' trick. My god, that one has been around since Hector was a pup. Why, the ONDCP tries to use it in their regional conferences to promote student drug testing...when a damn drug test is the reason these kids are drinking bleach to begin with. I protested the ONDCP in Atlanta a few years ago where that argument was used.
This is what happens when you try to scare kids into doing what you want them to do instead of educating them with scientific facts about drug use. Here is what is maddening to me:
Most kids only smoke pot, which, of all the illicit and legal drugs, is the one that WON'T KILL YOU. However, traces and broken-down, metabolized by-products of marijuana are stored in fat cells and detectable for up to 45 days after consumption. Kids know this....so they do one of two things usually....both of which often lead to horrible consequences like this story.
1. They move on to harder drugs like meth, crack, prescription drugs and often consume more alcohol because they know that those drugs are out of their systems in around 72 hours. So, they can party on Friday night and be clean on Monday. But, those drugs can be deadly and if they don't accidentally overdose and kill themselves then they may become hardcore drug addicts.
2. They do stupid things like drink bleach, take handfuls of niacin and introduce other chemical agents into their bodies in an effort to beat the test and avoid getting kicked out of band or off the football team and being sent to juvenile prison.
I think we need to Just Say No to Stedent Drug Testing and Just Say Know to real drug education for our kids.
Here are some fascinating facts on student drug testing courtesy of Students for Sensible Drug Policy.
• Drug testing is not effective in deterring drug use by young people. The largest study ever conducted on the topic looked at 94,000 students at 900 schools and found no difference between levels of drug use at schools that drug test their students and those that don’t.
• Drug testing students who wish to participate in extracurriculars deters at-risk students from joining the activities in the first place. School officials should welcome these students into the positive supervised learning environments provided by after-school programs, which are a proven means of helping students stay out of trouble with drugs.
• Drug testing is very expensive, taking away scarce dollars from other, more effective programs that actually keep young people away from drugs and out of trouble.
• Drug testing can undermine relationships of trust between students and teachers and between parents and their children.
• Drug testing is invasive. For urine testing, school officials generally stand outside bathroom stalls listening for the sounds of urination to ensure validity of the tests.
• Random drug testing treats students as if they are guilty until proven innocent and sends mixed messages about civics and constitutional rights. In the event of positive or inconclusive results, students are asked to reveal any prescription medications they are taking.
• Due to unreliable accuracy rates, drug testing can result in false positives,leading to the punishment of innocent students.
• Drug testing may lead to unintended consequences, such as students using drugs that are more dangerous but less detectable by drug tests, such as meth, cocaine, inhalants, or ecstasy.
• Organizations opposing random drug testing students who participate in after-school activities include the National Education Association, the Association for Addiction Professionals, the American Public Health Association, the American
Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of Social Workers, and the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.
• Most educators reject random student drug testing as a prevention tool. 95 percent of American schools do not randomly drug test their student athletes, and only two percent of schools randomly test students who participate in extracurriculars other than athletics.
• Drug testing exposes schools to tremendous legal liability and expensive litigation.
• Instead of wasting money on drug testing students, Congress should help school officials provide effective drug education programs that actually help young people make responsible lifestyle choices and keep them safe.