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Random drug testing not reliable in keeping teen athletes from using
Date:10/18/2007

Random drug and alcohol testing does not reliably keep student-athletes from using. In fact, the mere presence of drug testing increases some risk factors for future substance use, Oregon Health & Science University researchers report. Their findings are published in the November issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health, the journal of the Society for Adolescent Medicine.

Random drug and alcohol testing does not reliably keep student-athletes from using. In fact, the mere presence of drug testing increases some risk factors for future substance use, Oregon Health & Science University researchers report. Their findings are published in the November issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health, the journal of the Society for Adolescent Medicine.

The study, named SATURN (Student Athlete Testing Using Random Notification), is the first-ever prospective, randomized clinical trial to assess the deterrent effects of drug and alcohol testing among high school athletes.

Prior to this study, there was little research and no randomized trials to establish whether student-athlete drug and alcohol testing is an effective deterrent, said Linn Goldberg, M.D., F.A.C.S.M., principal investigator, professor of medicine and head of the Division of Health Promotion and Sports Medicine, OHSU School of Medicine. As a result of this study, drug testing is better understood. Although drug testing did not appear to reduce school sport participation as some had suggested it would, it did not reduce past 30-day drug or a combination of drug and alcohol use, and only intermittently lowered past year use. Armed with this information, parents, schools and policy-makers now can make evidence-based, cost-effective decisions about how best to protect the health and well-being of young athletes.

"This was a state-of-the-art collection and testing program that exceeded those of typical school testing programs. If this did not show significant deterrent effects, less-sop
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Contact: Tamara Hargens-Bradley
hargenst@ohsu.edu
503-494-8231
Oregon Health & Science University
Source:Eurekalert

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