Controversial anti-drugs policies have begun to emerge in America’s schools.

Rockhurst High School in Kansas, Missouri plan to use hair drug testing to discover if their students are using banned substances such as cocaine, PCP and marijuana.

This was prompted by a recent survey on drug perception conducted by the school, in which many of the pupils were revealed to have a warped perception about drug use among their classmates.

Rockhurst Principal, Greg Harkness said ‘What was most alarming for us is that when you asked our students if everyone else is doing it, they said “Yes”. But, in fact, they weren’t’; he then added that the misconception was fuelling peer pressure among teenagers.

Peer pressure surrounding drug use is also rife amongst youth in the UK. One schoolgirl, Georgia, stated on drug advice site Talk to Frank ‘I didn’t realise at first, but we were peer pressuring’; Georgia had been pressurised by fellow class members to take drugs and then did the same to others. The same view appears multiple times on UK drug advice forums and blogging sites.

‘Our point is, if we do encounter a student who has made some bad decisions with drugs or alcohol, we will be able to intervene, get the parents involved, get him help if necessary, and then help him get back on a path of better decision making, healthier choices for his life,’ Mr Harkness said.

In their 2012 report, the NHS information centre deduced that from a sample of 6,519 school pupils, that about 12% of children in England and Wales are likely to have use drugs in the last year.

Using methods such as drug hair testing and giving school children the support they need may well decrease this percentage.

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