can be useful for pediatricians and other health care providers to assess
substance use or mental health disorders in adolescents, but random drug
testing in schools is a controversial approach not recommended by the American
Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
updated policy statement and technical report, “Adolescent Drug Testing Policies in Schools
,” in the April 2015 Pediatrics (published online March 30),
the AAP encourages and supports the efforts of schools to identify and address
student substance abuse, but recommends against the use of school-based drug
testing programs, often called suspicionless or random drug testing.
of random drug testing refer to potential advantages such as students avoiding
drug use because of the negative consequences associated with having a positive
drug test results, while opponents of random drug testing agree that the
disadvantages are much greater, and can include deterioration in the
student-school relationship, confidentiality of students’ medical records, and
mistakes in interpreting drug tests that can result in false-positive results.
recommends against the use of school-based drug testing programs because of
limited evidence of efficacy and potential risks associated with this procedure.
Pediatricians support the development of effective substance abuse services in
schools, along with appropriate referral policies in place for adolescents
struggling with substance abuse disorders.
# # #
American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 62,000 primary
care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric
surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of
infants, children, adolescents and young adults.