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Drug Tests’ Easy Lure

To the Editor:

Re “Family in Texas challenges Mandatory School Drug Test” (front page, April 17):

Many of us who work in drug treatment are concerned the enactment of mandatory drug testing of high school students by the Lockney school board in Texas will not be of benefit to local families unless it is carried out as part of a drug prevention and counseling program.

Whether or not a student is found to have abused drugs, repetition of anti-drug messages is one of the most powerful deterrents against future drug use. While identifying children at risk of drug abuse through mandatory testing may sound attractive, we must first be certain that communities have the necessary prevention and treatment resources they will need to help students and families.

Peter Provet
President, Odyssey House
New York, April 18, 2000

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