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NACADA’s Position on Mandatory Drug Testing in Secondary Schools

NACADA’s Position on Mandatory Drug Testing in Secondary Schools.

The National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) has issued a statement regarding mandatory drug tests in some of the country’s secondary schools.

On Thursday, January 6, NACADA distanced itself from the directive being implemented in some institutions, including Maranda High School. Nacada posted a statement on social media platforms, that it did not order students to undergo drug tests before reopening.

It clarified that it does not administer drug tests and has not directed any schools to do so. The organization also stated that there is no law in the country that allows any school to force students to take drug tests.

“The Authority wishes to, from the onset, clarify that it does not conduct any drug testing We also wish to state that there is currently no law in the country making drug testing mandatory for learners,” the statement read in part.

NACADA advised education stakeholders that implementing mandatory drug tests should not be viewed as the only option for addressing the recent spike in school unrests.


In justifying the move, the government agency stated that research shows that mandatory drug tests alone cannot deal with the growing number of school unrests.

“We further advise that even when conducted, drug testing should be part of a comprehensive intervention program and thus should not be used as a sole solution to the problem of alcohol and substance abuse in institutions of learning.”

According to NACADA research has shown that drug testing does not work as a stand-alone intervention, but should be part of a continuum of services designed to improve drug abuse management and public safety.

KUPPET Criticize Magoha's Forceful Drug Testing Of Students
KUPPET Criticize Magoha’s Forceful Drug Testing Of Students

According to the government agency’s recommendation, mandatory drug testing should be performed at an accredited facility.

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“Similarly, drug testing is recommended as part of incident management and it should be within a licensed and accredited facility. The window of detection varies amongst drugs thus some may not show up during testing. It should, therefore, not be used as a deterrent measure as a negative test does not necessarily mean that the student is not using drugs or alcohol.”

NACADA stated its willingness to assist institutions in addressing drug abuse issues in schools adding that it  strongly encourages school administrators to follow the National Guidelines for Alcohol and Substance Use Prevention and Management in Basic Education Institutions, 2021.

The guideline offer a comprehensive evidence-based approach to dealing with alcohol and drug abuse issues.


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“As part of our role in the implementation of the guidelines, we are ready to support schools to develop and implement evidence-based interventions that will promote a safe and healthy environment free from alcohol and drug use.”

The debate has raged on, with various stakeholders expressing opposing views on the issue of mandatory drug testing in schools.

NACADA’s Position on Mandatory Drug Testing in Secondary Schools

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