WHITE HOUSE DRUG CZAR HERALDS RESULTS OF
NEW JERSEY RANDOM STUDENT STEROID TESTING
Nation's First Statewide Screening Program for Steroids Demonstrates
Preventive Power of Testing
(Washington, D.C.)Today, John Walters, Director of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), hailed the recently released results of New Jersey's statewide screening program for steroids as a successful example of preventing drug use among youth. According to the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, only one high school athlete out of 500 tested positive for steroid use during the testing process.
Director Walters stated, "Results from New Jersey's steroid testing program demonstrate the immense prevention power of random student testing and should provide an impetus for other communities to consider implementing programs of their own. Building on the success of this program, New Jersey and other States with steroid testing programs should consider expanding the random drug tests to include other drugs commonly abused by young people, like marijuana and prescription pain killers."
In 2005, New Jersey Governor Richard Cooley signed a random steroid testing program into law and established the Governor's Task Force on Steroid Use and Prevention. The program tests teams and individuals qualifying for championship games. New Jersey is also implementing steroid education programs in health and physical education curricula, anti-steroid advertisements and public service announcements during school sporting events, and organized school assembly programs on steroid prevention. In 2006, Florida and Texas also passed legislation requiring random student steroid programs.
In June 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the authority of public schools to test students for illegal drugs if they engage in extracurricular activities. The Bush Administration has made random student drug testing a priority. Since 2004, the ONDCP has hosted 17 student drug testing summits throughout the Nation, providing educators, policymakers, and community leaders with information and resources about random student drug testing. Nationally, more than 1,000 U.S. schools and school districts have implemented random testing programs, with roughly half of these receiving $36 million in Federal grants since 2003.
Since 2001, there has been a 23 percent decline in youth drug use. Youth lifetime use of steroids has declined 40.2 percent over the same time period. Broader implementation of random student drug testing programs can help to build on this progress.