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Volume 10, Pages 356-365
Review Article

School Drug Testing: A Critical Review of the Literature

1Department of Applied Social Sciences, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
2Department of Sociology, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China
3Public Policy Research Institute, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
4Kiang Wu Nursing College of Macau, Macao

Received 28 December 2009; Revised 25 January 2010; Accepted 27 January 2010

Academic Editor: Joav Merrick

Copyright © 2010 Daniel T.L.¬†Shek.


This paper explores the question of whether school drug testing is an effective solution to tackle adolescent substance abuse problems. Research studies in major academic databases and Internet websites are reviewed. Several observations are highlighted from the review: (1) there are few research studies in this area, particularly in different Chinese contexts; (2) the quality of the existing studies was generally low; and (3) research findings supporting the effectiveness of school drug testing were mixed. Methodological issues underlying quantitative and qualitative evaluation studies of the effectiveness of school drug testing are also discussed.