In light of issues on random drug testing in schools, the Dangerous Drugs Board reminded agencies that it should not be a stand-alone drug prevention strategy.
“Random drug testing, be it for secondary or primary students, is only one among the strategies that can be implemented in schools to prevent drug use among the youth,” said DDB Chairman Secretary Catalino Cuy in a statement.
For the DDB, random drug testing should be implemented along with a comprehensive school-based prevention program which includes clear and written policies, student assistance programs, student and faculty education, parent involvement and community support.
At present, random drug testing among students in public and secondary high schools is being implemented in accordance with the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, following the guidelines in DDB Regulation No. 6, Series of 2003 as amended by Board Regulation No. 3, Series of 2009.
This, however is being complemented by other initiatives in schools like the National Drug Education Program (NDEP) and the Barkada Kontra Droga (BKD), a peer-based preventive education and information program which aims to enlist young people as catalysts within their peer groups in advocating healthy and drug-free lifestyles.
The DDB continues to encourage schools to implement programs that will build the capacity of young people to resist the lures of drugs. Aside from NDEP and BKD, life skills enhancement training can also be given to secondary students. For those in the elementary level, the Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program or DARE utilizing police officers to teach students resistance skills and the Kids Against Drugs program of the DDB can be implemented.
“More than expanding the coverage of students who will have to undergo random drug testing, we feel that ensuring the implementation of other prevention programs in schools will have a better impact,” Sec. Cuy added.
According to the DDB, resources and logistics would also be a challenge.