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Minnesota Student Drug & Alcohol Testing Rules

    • The Drug and Alcohol Abuse Report estimates that more than 5,000 people younger than 21 die each year from drug-related causes.burn charcoal image by Arkady Chubykin from

      Drug and alcohol addiction is a growing problem for adolescent teens. One alarming fact, included in the Minnesota legislature's 2009 Drug and Alcohol Abuse Report, shows that underage drinking kills more adolescents in the U.S. than anything else.

      The report goes onto state that throughout America, 75 percent of high school seniors drink alcohol before graduating. Two-thirds of 10th graders have tried alcohol, and two-fifths of eighth graders have tried alcohol. A student who binge drinks is more prone to participate in risky sexual behavior, rape or assault, or commit suicide. Binge drinkers also suffer through academic struggles, depression, injuries and problems with the law. These statistics have prompted many parents to agree to the necessity of drug and alcohol testing for Minnesota students.

    Steroid Testing

    • In 2010, six states, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia, passed a bill to discourage steroid use among students.

      Minnesota is cracking down on the suppliers of steroids, rather than the users. People who sell steroids to minors could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

      Steroid testing among high school students is not mandatory in Minnesota law, as of August 2010. Some states, such as New Jersey, Texas and Florida, have mandatory laws where 5 percent of student-athletes are randomly tested for steroids on a regular basis.

      Testing varies for college students. Colleges have their own laws regarding steroid testing as regulated by The National Collegiate Athletic Association. A college student is permanently banned if she tests twice for steroid use.

    University of Minnesota Drug Testing

    • Athletes at the University of Minnesota are bound by a strict no drinking or drug using policy. These students cannot consume either substance at any team-related practices, competitions, banquets or travel excursions.

      This rule applies even if the student is of legal drinking age. Regardless of an athlete's age, he will be subjected to drug and alcohol testing on regular basis. If he fails, there are consequences. According to the policy listed on the university website, punishment includes "verbal and written warnings, participation in drug/alcohol abuse educational sessions, required chemical dependency assessment and/or treatment, suspension from the team, loss of eligibility, dismissal from the team, loss of any athletics related scholarship aid and/or permanent dismissal from the university."

    Random Drug Tests

    • As of August 2010, most of the schools in Minnesota do not have a drug testing policy.

      One school that does have a drug testing policy is Cass Lake-Bena High School. In the Cass Lake student handbook, it states that a school employee can recommend that a student take a drug test. If the principal or drug counselor recommends that the student take a drug test, and she refuses, she will face an automatic three-day suspension. She will also receive a document referral.

      For the first positive test, her punishment can be up to five days' suspension. This suspension will be up to two days if she agrees to participate in an agreement with the counselor. A second positive drug test will yield a one- to five-day suspension, and she must comply with the pre-assessment team's plan. This plan can include a 25-day assessment. If a student has a third positive, she could be expelled.

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