Tougher drug tests are in store for students at one East Texas school. In addition to its regular drug policy for students in extracurricular activities. The Hallsville ISD School Board voted Monday to take a step toward a more comprehensive drug policy, that includes testing for diuretics.
Mr. Greg Wright, Superintendent of Hallsville ISD, says, "We feel like that it took us to a whole new level in our drug testing policy. We feel like we have one of the most comprehensive drug testing policies in the state. We are very proud of it and we feel like these changes have strengthened those policies."
The reason for the change, doctors say diuretics are used to hide drug use in urine analysis. Diuretics are also used for everyday purposes, such as controlling high blood pressure and finding relief from headaches. Excedrin, a popular headache medicine contains caffeine, when taken in excessive doses is considered a diuretic.
Dr. Bryan M. Lowrey, Trinity Clinic Family Medicine says, "Taking a diuretic basically dilutes your urine so you can mask a lot of those drugs like antibiotic steroids and marijuana. Kids can get it pretty easily and adults do it too to pass." Lowrey says this policy will probably be more widespread in East Texas schools, because diuretics are easy to find. Also, Dr. Lowrey says athletes trying to mask the drugs by using diuretics are putting themselves at a higher health risk.
Dr. Bryan M. Lowrey, Trinity Clinic Family Medicine says, "If they are out their playing football in the Texas hot sun, in August, and taking diuretics, they are putting themselves at a higher risk. Every year their are reports of athletes dying of heat strokes."
Any student caught delivering, possessing or selling diuretics or masking agents, will be be sent to the alternative campus for 30 days. School board members also add that teachers and extra-curricular sponsors can now select "suspicious" students for random drug testing throughout the year.