Parents backing for random drug tests in schools

SCOTS parents want teenagers to be given random drug tests in schools, according to new research.

More than three quarters (78%) of Scottish parents said they would support the move in a bid to stamp out the growing use of drugs in the playground.

The research found that almost all parents (95%) said they were worried about the problem.

Two-thirds (65%) said they backed random testing – because they are afraid schools are not doing enough to tackle the drugs problem.

They want education leaders to introduce random urine tests for recreational drugs such as cannabis, ecstasy and cocaine.

Researchers questioned more than 600 parents and guardians of secondary school teenagers across the UK.

Nearly half of those questioned thought testing was the most effective way to reduce drug abuse among teenagers.

But fewer than one in five thought information campaigns worked.

One in nine wanted an increased police presence near schools that have a problem with drugs.

The poll comes after a study by Glasgow Universities Centre for Drugs Misuse last year found that Scots children as young as ten have taken cocaine and heroin.

And it revealed that hundreds of primary school pupils regularly smoke cannabis and experiment with other Class A drugs.

The most recent study was carried out for drug-test supplier Euromed by market research company, 1FF Research.

Euromed sells tailored test kits – which provide results in under ten minutes – to clients such as NHS trusts and the UK Prison Service.

A spokeswoman for Euromed said: Drug testing in schools is a very sensitive issue and they must be careful if they are considering introducing them.

“But random testing has proven a successful way to tackle drug misuse.

“This research shows how drugs in secondary schools are a worry to parents and how parents are not confident that schools are successfully tacking the issue.”

She added: “In Scotland there was by far the highest concern among all UK parents about drugs being available in secondary schools.

“And more parents in Scotland backed their own children being randomly drug tested.”

Source: Jan 2004
Filed under: Parents,Youth :

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