This piece was published in the September 2015 issue of the Prep News
The drug testing system initiated under the Health and Wellness Program begins its third year, with the start of the 2015-2016 school year. The driving force behind the testing of students is the goal to prevent alcohol and drug abuse in students that has been proven to lead to substance addiction.
“Statistically, the longer you can keep someone from abusing alcohol and drugs there is a higher probability that they will not abuse alcohol and drugs down the road, and that is the goal of the tests here at Rockhurst,” Mr. Mike Heringer, director of the testing program, said.
While the goal of the tests and the message of loving care for the students have stayed the same throughout the program’s first two years, aspects of the tests have changed and will continue to change. In modern society the quantity and diversification of drugs available for use causes a major problem to testing.
“One aspect that we need to be continually aware of is, ‘Are testing for the right stuff? Because we know the substances change over time and need we need to adapt the program to meet these changes,” Mr. Herringer said.
While some aspects such as testing for the right substances and the changing of who receives the letters after the test has changed, the major parts such as where the sample is taken from on the body, how a studtent is selected and told they have been selected and what company the samples sent to have not changed because there is no need, according to Mr. Herringer. The system Rockhurst adopted is a system based off of other secondary schools around the nation such as Christian Brother Academy in St. Louis. Since Rockhurst adopted a very similar system that has been tried, tested, and modified over several years, there has been no need for immediate changing of the program at Rockhurst.
After two years of testing the results of the tests have come back very close to the estimated data with 5 percent of students tested failing their first time.
The drug tests at Rockhurst are attempting to better suit the needs of the community by preventing long term substance abuse by students to better help them in life down the road according to Mr. Heringer. This goes hand in hand with the Jesuit ideal of being a man for others by allowing the students to grow and prosper into healthy young men.