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Kentucky High School To Hold Random Mandatory Drug Tests For Students

Northern Kentucky's Covington Catholic High School will implement random drug tests on students for the 2016-2017 school year. 

To counter Kentucky's battle with heroin usage one school will now hold mandatory drug testing for all students, making the war on drugs a little more unsettling for the nation.

According to USA Today affiliate Cincinnati Covington Catholic High School officially announced on Wednesday (May 18) their plans to implement the procedure for the 2016-2017 school year. The method is connected to Northern Kentucky's battle with drug overdoses, mostly due to heroin usage. In 2015, it was reported 1,087 residents statewide died from drug overdoses, with 30 percent of the deaths stemming from heroin use. The Office of Drug Control Policy adds  Senate Bill 192 (known as the Heroin Bill) was also passed in the same year, giving harsher penalties to dealers and better treatments for addicts.

Principal Bob Rowe says he wants the all-male student body to feel the pressure of saying no to drugs. While the school hasn't had a rampant use of opioids, they've faced issues with drugs in the past. "This program, with technical and financial support from St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Medicount Management, and the Drug Free Clubs of America (DFCA), is intended to provide our young men with an additional tool for deterrence, as well as tools to address usage with appropriate treatment if/when it occurs," the letter to parents read. "We try to change the culture to where they say I can’t do that, or I have no interest in that, it’s going to take me down the wrong road,” Rowe added.

The random testing will begin when the new school year kicks off on Aug. 10. Positive tests will be kept confidential at first. If a second positive test permits, the student will be axed from extracurricular activities. A third offense will likely lead to expulsion. Counseling and assistance to students will also be provided by the school.

If parents don't want their children to be tested, they will not be allowed to register as "CovCath" students. “Why not educate our young men so they lead and have a safe lifestyle for the rest of their lives,” Rowe said.

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