District to screen for teen alcohol use

first_img“Medical care and treatment are issues between parents and children,” said Deborah Jacobs, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PEQUANNOCK, N.J. – Some teenagers who drink over the weekend could be in big trouble come Monday morning: A New Jersey school district plans to institute random urine tests capable of detecting whether alcohol was consumed up to 80 hours earlier. Pequannock Township High, with about 800 students, said it will begin administering the tests next Monday. “This is a major issue for America,” schools Superintendent Larrie Reynolds said Tuesday. “There are more kids that die each year in alcohol-related traffic deaths than there are soldiers who have died in Iraq. The numbers are staggering.” At least one other New Jersey high school, in Middletown, employs the EtG test, which screens for ethyl glucuronide, a substance produced by the body when it metabolizes alcohol. Pequannock teenagers who participate in sports or other extracurricular activities, or drive to school, are already tested for illegal drugs, under a 2005 program prompted by the heroin overdose of a student. Students who test positive for alcohol will not be kicked off teams or barred from extracurricular activities. Instead they will receive counseling and their parents will be notified, Reynolds said. “That’s going to give our kids riding in the back seat of someone’s car a very powerful reason to say no,” he said. Drug tests, similarly, can detect drug use that occurred days earlier. The new test worries civil-liberties advocates and others who oppose school drug testing as an invasion of privacy. last_img

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