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Cerberus' Domain

March 29, 2004

Drug testing a big mistake

By MARIO RENTERIA, Sports Writer

It appears the Brawley Union High School District is taking steps toward fighting drug abuse among students wishing to participate in extra-curricular activities.

I can't help but think this is a big mistake, one that will cause a lot of turmoil at the high school.

The tests school officials will be administering will be for nine drugs, none of which is steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs, because those tests are too expensive.

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The drugs the district will be testing for are the commonly used illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and barbiturates.

Coaches, club advisers and school officials should be able to spot signs of drug abuse in students and report it.

Sure, some students hide their use well, but for the most part, it is noticeable when some are abusing drugs.

Apparently, some athletes are in favor of the drug testing to ensure their teammates are clean.

If they want a clean team, why don't they take the responsibility of talking to a teammate they suspect of being on drugs and tell the person to get his or her act together?

Students and athletes need to take responsibility as well.

Then there's the human error behind all of this.

What has failed to be mentioned is some medicines can make a test come out positive.

It happens in professional sports all the time.

Can you imagine an athlete being suspended for testing positive when all he or she was taking was regular medicine for a common cold? Some cold medications will produce positive results for amphetamines.

Plus, what's the point of testing athletes for those drugs if the district does not test for steroids?

Most of the drugs tested for are downers, meaning they relax you, not enhance your performance. One or two of those drugs could help a performance, but again, it's up to the coach to catch the signs of those drugs being abused.

About the students joining clubs, most join because there is nothing else to do except, of course, drugs.

By pushing them away from the clubs, you give them more free time to experiment with those drugs.

It's good Brawley is taking steps to stop drug abuse but this just seems like a bad idea.

It doesn't seem to me like it's going to deter anything. Instead, it will cause a lot of confusion and stress among students at the high school.

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