Yamaguchi, R., Johnston, L. D., & O'Malley, P. M. (2003). Relationship between student illicit drug use and school drug-testing policies. Journal of School Health, 73, 159-164.

"This report provides information about drug testing by American secondary schools, based on results from national surveys. The study provides descriptive information on drug-testing practices by schools from 1998 to 2001, and examines the association between drug testing by schools and reported drug use by students. School-level data on drug testing were obtained through the Youth, Education, and Society study, and student-level survey data were obtained from the same schools participating in the Monitoring the Future study. A relatively small percentage of schools (about 18%) reported testing students for drug use, with more high schools than middle schools reporting drug testing. Drug testing was not associated with students' reported illicit drug use, or with rate of use among experienced marijuana users. Drug testing of athletes was not associated with illicit drug use among male high school athletes. Policy implications are discussed".

Implication. Drug use in high schools in the USA is unrelated to drug-testing of athletes. Pundits often attribute athletes as being the models that motivate other students to use drugs. As well, anti-doping testing is often promoted as being a method for intimidating non-athletes about drug use. Neither hypothesis is supported by the findings of this and other studies. Drug use in high schools is governed by factors other than those associated with sports.

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