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High School Drug Testing Producing Results | News

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High School Drug Testing Producing Results
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HENDERSON -- It's used to be meth, then pain pills but some teens across the Las Vegas valley are taking it a step further and are smoking heroin. DEA officials it's a growing problem that some high schools are experiencing.

The drug problem has prompted some schools in the valley to randomly drug test their student athletes. Green Valley High School even took it a step further. Principal Jeff Horn believes there will be more harm if the community denies there's a problem. It's one of the reasons he's been so vocal about the drug problem his school has faced and is now overcoming even after years of scrutiny.

The mood at Green Valley High School is one of optimism. Junior baseball player Chad Whiteaker says he, like most students, has never used drugs, but after a former baseball player was caught with heroin, living with the stigma and taunting is normal. "Like where's your black tar heroin, where's your needles, all kinds of jokes."

Principal Horn says they have numbers to prove drug use isn't high. That's because for the last three years, they've randomly drug tested their athletes and students in extra-curricular activities.

"We have nearly 1,200 students in the pool right now which is the most at any school. It's not just athletes, but it is choir students, band, forensics, student council so kids that are in extra- curricular activities are in the pool as well," he said.

Horn says 420 students were tested this year and less than two percent came back positive, which is roughly eight students. That is down from 12 students three years ago when the program started.

"Usually it is marijuana. There has been alcohol in there too but most of the cases have been marijuana or alcohol," Horn said.

Seven other high schools also randomly drug test even though there it's solely on student athletes. CCSD says positive test results are minimal although they would not yet release a firm number. Green Valley students think the drug tests have made a difference.

"People are not more nervous or scared but I think people are more cautious and that's not only at school but on the weekends out of school," said Taylor Ashton, student.

"What's more important doing drugs or doing your activities?" said Sarah Pickus, student.

The random drug testing on athletes is funded by a federal grant for the eight schools. Green Valley High School uses private funds to pay for the extra-curricular students drug testing.

 

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