Pubdate: Sun, 20 Jul 2008
Source: Dallas Morning News (TX)
Copyright: 2008 The Dallas Morning News
Author: Suzanne Wills


Re: "Taylor's Law is deterring steroid abuse -- As  program expands 
next year, it should help even more,  says Donald Hooton," Monday Viewpoints.

Mr. Hooton says, "If the cost of the [random steroid  testing] program
can prevent our student-athletes from  heading down the path that
caused my son to take his  life ... it is worth it."

The problem is it can't. The University of Michigan's  Institute for
Social Research conducted the largest  study of student drug testing
ever done, on 76,000  students. It found no difference in use of
banned  substances between students in schools that test and  those in
schools that do not.

The Texas program will cost $6 million, last two years  and reach less
than 3 percent of the 750,000 high  school athletes each year. Of the
first 10,407 tests  conducted, two tests were positive. That amounts
to  $693,782 per positive test.

Parents are free to test their children if they suspect  steroid use.
Their classmates should not have to  tolerate fewer enrichment
programs, fewer teachers,  larger class sizes, fewer counselors, fewer
coaches and  less equipment to pay for a random testing program.

Suzanne Wills, Drug Policy Forum of Texas, Dallas
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