UK: Drug test kits used in schools

Discussion in 'Drug Testing' started by Lunar Loops, Aug 19, 2006.

  1. Lunar Loops

    Lunar Loops Driftwood Platinum Member & Advisor

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    This from the UKCIA website (www.ukcia.org):

    UK: Drug test kits used in schools

    Dan McMullen
    Manchester Evening News

    Wednesday 16 Aug 2006

    ---
    SCHOOLS in Greater Manchester are to screen their buildings for traces
    of cannabis, cocaine, amphetamines, heroin and LSD as part of a drive to
    stamp out drug use among pupils.

    Two schools in Oldham - which the M.E.N. has chosen not to identify -
    have already ordered £195 swab-testing kits that can detect the residue
    left behind by the drugs on walls, desks and toilets.

    There are also visits planned from sniffer dogs. A third school in
    Oldham is considering use of the tests, as well as dogs.

    Detection

    The schools stress that the tests are designed to form part of a drug
    education and detection policy and are not in response to particular
    drug problems.

    The schools are not looking to test individual pupils but will
    concentrate on public locations and fixtures and fixings across the school.

    A teacher from one of the schools said: "The reason we have ordered the
    kit is because we spend a lot of time talking about drug issues at
    school and we want to be seen to be doing something about it.

    "There are obviously concerns from our point of view as some people may
    think we have a drug problem, but we don't. What we want is to be seen
    to be taking a sensible approach to drugs and drug education.

    "There is always a risk where large groups of youngsters are brought
    together but we wish to look at the issue in a non-sensational way.

    "The dogs will be brought in and used for educational and teaching
    purposes with the pupils and I think when they have seen what they can
    do that in itself will act as a deterrent. There are no plans for random
    dog sweeps at this stage.

    "The test kits will be used for intelligence-gathering and they will be
    kept on standby in the school in case of any suspected drug-related
    incidents.

    "We will not be using them every week to test walls and cloakrooms
    though if we feel we can use them to gather information they may well be
    used in this way from time to time.

    "The kits are a great way of detecting use in school and reassuring both
    parents and pupils that we have a proactive policy."

    The kits, each capable of carrying out 100 tests, are being provided by
    Saddleworth-based Crackdown Drug Testing, who work with Greater
    Manchester Police on drugs initiatives and who supply drug testing kits
    to Category A jails.

    Range

    The kits can detect the full range of drugs and are used to swab
    secluded areas where cannabis joints may be rolled, or toilet seats and
    flat surfaces where cocaine and amphetamines may be cut into lines and
    snorted.

    Dave Rigg, managing director of Crackdown Drug Testing and an
    ex-policeman with 17 years' experience, said: "The kits have an aerosol
    and 100 paper wipes. You wipe the paper on the suspected surface, then
    spray it with the aerosol. If drugs are present it will change colour.

    "It is the first time such methods will have been used in Greater
    Manchester.

    "Oldham is no worse than anywhere else. By using these kits it will
    provide an intelligence-led response as to whether or not drugs are
    being used, the type of drugs being used and what can be done to tackle
    the issue.

    "It will also allow youngsters a chance to avoid peer pressure and say
    no if they are offered anything illegal." Several other schools in
    Greater Manchester have already used sniffer dogs in response to
    concerns about drug use on the premises but this is thought to be the
    first use of test kits.

    Sympathetic

    Oldham council spokesman Nick Hudson said: "If individual schools decide
    that it is in the best interests of their pupils to introduce some form
    of drug testing then, providing the decision is agreed by the school's
    governing body and it is introduced sympathetically, the authority will
    support this decision."

    A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: "We are obviously aware
    that drugs do find their way into schools but Oldham schools are no
    worse than any others in the area."
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 10, 2017
    1. 3/5,
      Very interesting but probably belongs in the news section
      Mar 4, 2013
  2. matti_2003

    matti_2003 Gold Member

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    I don't really see what the school will get out of it. Either drugs will be detected or they won't but it's not likely to help them find which pupils are doing drugs.