Indiana senator wants drug testing for high school athletes

An Indiana senator has introduced a bill that would allow for random drug testing of the state’s 153,000 high school athletes.

Republican State Sen. Jean Leising said she wants to give schools another tool to combat drug use among student-athletes. She also thinks the measure would be a deterrent to those who want to participate, but the state athletic association isn’t on board.

Bobby Cox, commissioner of the Indiana High School Athletic Association, said he believes schools already do a good job of fighting drug use among their students.


“I think our member schools are doing a pretty good job enforcing their substance abuse policies that they’ve already authored themselves,” Cox said. “I don’t know that adding this type of an expense and mandating this on our high schools is the answer that’s going to detour young people from participating in things they shouldn’t be doing.”

Cox added. “I’ve never been a real fan of random drug testing. It hasn’t ever proven to be very effective.”

Evidence suggests Cox might be right. In 2015, Texas folded its drug testing program after it yielded few positive results, and Illinois defunded its program in 2017. New Jersey’s random drug testing program, which cost $100,000 annually, made headlines in 2017 when it returned just one positive test.

The growing opinion in those states and others is that drug use isn’t enough of a problem to warrant a costly testing program.

The Indiana proposal currently awaits consideration by the Senate’s Committee on Education and Career Development. It has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.

Read more from WISH-TV.

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