Drug and Alcohol Testing in Schools

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School administrators have the responsibility of ensuring a safe, supportive and healthy school environment where students can learn and reach their fullest potential. This includes taking the right measures to prevent drug and alcohol use among students. The use and abuse of illicit drugs and alcohol negatively impacts school performance and is also linked to antisocial behaviour, violence, and other dangerous behaviours that can affect other students. To help in the evaluation, identification and prevention of drug and alcohol use and abuse in the school system, alcohol and drug testing in conjunction with programs aimed to reinforce positive school climate are recommended.

For drug and alcohol testing in schools, we recommend the breathalyzers and drug testing kits below. The products below are economical and user-friendly, requiring little to no prior training. This makes them suitable for use by administrators, teachers, or even parents themselves. More importantly, they are certified to and compliant with Australian Standards, and provide accurate, error-free results when used correctly, eliminating the risk of getting false positives. If you're not sure which model breathalyser or drug test kit will suit your needs best, do contact us for a recommendation based on your specific requirements.

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Is drug testing in schools legal?

In recent years, there has been recurring news of Australian schools implementing a drug and alcohol testing policy on its students. This comes as no surprise as statistics show that children as young as 14 years old have used illicit drugs either just once or on a regular basis. While schools are not required by legislation to drug test their students, it can be considered under their duty of care if there is a persistent alcohol and drug abuse problem among its students that demand attention. Schools administrators may also find certain events such as year end parties and prom nights especially important to monitor for illicit drug and alcohol use.

Before administering any drug and alcohol testing policy, schools should provide all students with drug prevention and intervention programs, involve parents or guardians with drug-related curriculum and well-being issues, and develop a policy to manage drug-related incidents. Of course, schools should prohibit possession, use, distribution and selling of illicit drugs and unsanctioned licit drugs on school premises or at any school function or activity.


Importance of drug testing in school

Some schools follow standards established in the workplace in conducting random drug testing and or reasonable suspicion/cause drug testing. Random drug testing for students can help to reduce if not totally eliminate drug misuse and illicit substance use. It could also be a good deterrent and provide students with the motivation to challenge peer pressure to take drugs or alcohol.

More importantly, drug testing in schools can help identify students who are using drugs, paving the way to early intervention. This can also identify students who have drug or alcohol problems and need treatment.

Drug testing is not a means to punish students who are into drugs. Rather, it is a preventive measure and a step to help student users be drug-free. If a student tests positive but is not yet addicted, counseling may be recommended. For a student with addiction problem, referral to an efficient drug treatment and rehabilitation program may be recommended.

ADF Australian Drug Foundation
QUT Queensland University of Technology
The University of Melbourne
Deakin University
The University of Adelaide
Austin Health
NSW Government Health South Western Sydney Local Health District
Australian Government Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency
CIty of Whitehorse
Manningham Balance of City and Country
City of Stonnington
District Council Yankalilla

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