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NJ Finds Success In Its Fight Against Steroids in Schools

The world of sports is such that everyone is striving for a better performance on the field all the time to stay ahead of the competition, and in such an atmosphere, consumption of steroids seems to be an easy way out. Though it is known to all that steroids have side effects that include infertility, acne, liver malfunctioning and in extreme cases even death, sportsmen have always ignored these warnings and continued their use in the hope of better performance. While only Universities and colleges were seen afflicted with the use of steroids among athletes, the effect has percolated down to high schools and teenagers are now exposed to these drugs with steroids rather easily.

Senator Richard Codey, sensing a big problem with such small kids being exposed to drugs, pushed hard for compulsory testing of kids in high schools for steroids during his term as the Governor of the state of New Jersey. In 2005, Codey asked for the creation of a task force for this problem, and taking help of NJ State Interscholastic Athletic Association, the task force started conducting random drug testing of students and teams participating in state championships. What started in 2006 in NJ was followed by just two more states Texas and Illinois.

5 years hence, the program has been a roaring success with random urine drug testing having been converted into regular urine testing. It has served its purpose of being a strong deterrent and has made kids think many times before indulging in steroids. Despite the fact that there are methods of cheating urine test like using fake urine, experts have expressed satisfaction over the performance of the program while emphasizing that the program is not just to catch kids taking steroids but to provide a level playing field for all kids taking part in athletics and importantly, helping in keeping kids safe and secure. More than 2500 students have ben tested so far under this program.