Resolution 13: Support of Mandatory Drug Testing for High School Students Participating in School Activities

Introduced by:  Charles W. Henrichs, MD – Delegate, Henderson County Medical Society

Referred to:        Reference Committee No. 1 – Timothy M. Beittel, MD, Chair

WHEREAS, North Carolina law requires that students using marijuana be restricted from participating in student activities including but not limited to sporting and club activities; and

WHEREAS, studies now report that marijuana is easier for students to acquire than alcohol;  and

WHEREAS, marijuana is considered a gateway drug and is illegal; therefore be it 

RESOLVED, That the North Carolina Medical Society supports random drug testing for all students participating in high school and middle school activities.  (policy)

Fiscal Note:  No additional funding above current resources estimated.  Current resources will be allocated based on the priorities of the Society and the NCMS budget.

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  • Jeff Wright

    I oppose targeting any specific group of students for testing, perhaps with the exception of those who are failing. I echo the question of what to do with positve results. Finally, my own observations may be anecdotal, but I am raising 3 adolescents and it appears to me that kids involved in sports and clubs are less likely to be using drugs and alcohol.

  • scott donaldson

    State laws require that all students using illegal drugs be banned from school sponsored extra curricular activities. How do you know who’s using other than testing? College athletes are tested already, why not high school students?

  • freeman jackson MD

    This resolution should not target students who are participating in activities. If we deem that mandatory testing should be done, then we should apply this to all students across the board. The real question becomes how we intervene when we find the “positives”. With budget issues, I have to believe that our resources should be funnelled towards improving the quality of education.

  • Sandra Brown

    Stepping way back for a longer view, we have to ask what the school’s response would be to a positive drug test. Kid kicked off the team forever? for a game? The coaches have the greatest authority and influence over this type of behavior especially if it is oriented or grouped around the sport (like the girls varsity soccer team partying after a game). If the coaches overlook it because the team is winning, drug testing won’t add another layer of effectiveness.

  • Doug Sheets MD

    With the current limitations on school budgets and family budgets, I think this would be an added expense with no significant benefit.

  • Joseph Inglefield

    Random testing is done on athletes in NC already. This is an expansion to include anyone doing any outside activities. It is a big problem, I agree, but do we know if random testing helps? What are the data? What does work? How long will the cops promote DARE? It doesn’t work, what does? Study this and recommend a program that has been shown to work

  • Charles Henrichs MD

    This resolution was submitted on behalf of Scott Donaldson MD, Henderson County, NC Medical Society member.

  • Frank Smeeks, MS, MD, MBA

    There is certainly a trend in increased drug use. I think we need to do random testing at a minimum. This may sound cliche but if we prevent one athlete from a drug overdose, or prevent that one athlete from killing others secondary to his/her impairment then we have made a difference. Far too many of our young people are involved in drugs, from the valedictorian to the Captain of the football team. We have had two children in the NC Public School system and my wife was an educator and administrator in several system and the problems are pretty incredible. While alcohol is not going to be a substance picked up on mandatory drug testing, having watched the level of alcohol and marijuana use by the varsity girls soccer team was disheartening. I agree we should not turn a blind eye. Also remember that we are talking rural NC included in this as well. How many times has “someone” turned a blind eye to a little pot, it isn’t a big deal right….

  • Robert Monteiro, MD

    I would recommend referral of this resolution to the NCMS Board of Directors for study and report back as our Sports Medicine Committee could study the feasibility and potential costs or impact of such a policy.

  • Joseph Inglefiled

    Suspect this would be an expense with little benefit. Are you going to lock students up, or just keep them out of chess club? Seems like there has to be a better approach to marijuana use? What are the best practices from the studies? We know DARE programs don’t work well. Do we know what does? I would like to see some science behind any proposal like this.