LEGISLATIVE BREAKOUTS - JUNIOR/COMMUNITY COLLEGES
(Monday, June 8, 10:00- 11:45 a.m.)
Based on my involvement this past year, in fact, findings with the various projects that I have attended, I have concluded the following. Number one, at this time I do not support any forms of
drug testing. Number two, the information I gathered does not support drug testing. Number three, the implementation of drug excretion programs and sound educational programs are feas1ble at the two-year colleges. We have seen the rush to begin drug testing programs as the apparent solution to these growing problems at the university and college levels. With lack of funding as a major problem for the two-year colleges, this has led us to pursue other means in addressing the issue of substance use.
An example of the escalating cost is that at Ohio State University the cost is exceeding $400,000, and I understand that they are testing all of their athletes. In a lot of cases schools are testing a few of the athletes, or some teams only, but my understanding is at ohio State they are testing the
entire athletic population. Remember that this problem of substance use and intoxication in athletics is new to all of us. I think of a saying from the movie, "Fiddler on the Roof" -"Send us a tear, we have the disease-." Keep in mind we are all constantly seeking information which provides assistance to our students. It is apparent from information students have shared with us that this problem is campus-wide and we should work toward developing a program that will ultimately serve the entire
student body; possibly the athletic department could be a model program or serve as a model program.
As I began my sabbatical leave in the spring of 1986, I had mixed emotions about how the various testing programs were being administered and what various colleges perceived as the outcome of these programs. Of the approximately 50 or so colleges I visited, the University of Maryland at College
Park, Maryland seemed to have their drug testing program in cact. Seventeen thousand miles in four months and roughly 34 states late4 I completed my sabbatical leave and submitted my report stating that drug testing programs in the athletic and educational college system were not the answer to this growing problem of substance use and intoxication. This past year I have attended workshops and clinics throughout the state in an attempt to gather any ideas for implementation of education
substance use programs. Let me show you some of these findings. In May of 1986 in Los Angeles, California at the NCAA Current Issues Forum, the announcement came of the postseason drug program that was to begin in the fall of 1986. It appeared to me that many colleges were not prepared to implement any type of drug testing program on such a short notice.
In october 1986 in Bakersfield, California, we held a conference drugs in the work place. Among the participants were Dr. Forest Tennant, drug advisor for the National Football League, who spoke on the effects of chemicals on the brain. Larry Condon, a local county sheriff, stated the following: number one, that people were creating ways of cheating on drug tests; number two, that incarceration
was not feasible and number three, that drug testing programs needed to institute policies. Attorney Robert Stone stated the following at this same workshop: lawsuits have risen from three to 39 percent; there is no rationale for conducting random tests in a non-hazardous job setting; number three, the union's concern o~ off-duty use is not a cause for dismissal; four, that one cannot discriminate for lack of signature and five, in the court case of Colton vs. Sea World here in California the plaintiff was awarded $1.4 million in compensation and $600,000 in punitive damages. Yet another speaker at
this same workshop, Marina Orbesky, a chemical lab supervisor, stated the following: number one, that 40 percent of the work force in this country is involved in some form of substance use and number two, there is an unknown surrounding of passive inhalation.
In November 1986 in San Jose, California and in May, 1987 in Costa Mesa, California, I attended a warkshop put on by Ron Heitzinger and Associates, who presented an overview on drug education and drug testing, and Ron has joined us this morning. As a member of the California Community College
task force on substance abuse, we had a mission to study the extent and level of this problem. The result of thesefihdihgf' focused on six main areas: the profound lack of understanding and awareness of substance use information; the degree of the problem; the fact that behavioral attitudes are
apparent in users; the approach that should be considered in dealing with the problem of substance abuse; the students' willingness to accept a drug awareness program for their use, and finally, the fact that by a wide margin, alcohol w4s considered the most serious problem. In the traveling I
did throughout the country and visiting the particular campuses, as I left that particular individual
I was visiting, I always asked them what was your main problem with substance use or drug use on their campus. They always seemed to say alcohol and than I laughed. When I asked what they were doing
about it, in most cases nothing was being done, at this time we do not have a service to give assistancE to give to our students.
Let me just relate an incident that is happening on our campus. and it is not a very pleasant
incident. One of our athletic teams in the spring semester was involved in a van accident with student-athletes and there was alcohol present. We didn't have a service in place to assist these particular people, nor even to assist the coach. There are still some things that are being worked
out; he has been since dismissed from his coaching assignment but he is still performing his teaching assignment. He was implicated in a misdemeanor. a second-degree offense. and he has his court hearing sometime in July. The point is that there was discussion surrounding this incident; as Ron presented at one of his workshops. we need to have a mechanism to investigate rumors. There were rumors that
this was going on in previous months. this activity of substance or alcohol use. and nothing was really done about it, either by administration or faculty or even myself in the case that I knew of those
kinds of things happening. Seeing those kinds of things. we could have tried to alert that particular individual that there were going to be some serious problems. that could happen. As it turned out. those things did happen.
So, as we develop these education programs, we need to have something in place that we can use as an answer to those students who are seeking that particular help. Michigan State University, under the direction of William Anderson and Len Spellman, administered an NCAA-sponsored study of alcohol, drug and tobacco use among college students throughout the United States. I would like to share their conclusions with you: number one, that alcohol is the most widely and frequently used drug; number two, there was no evidence of extensive drug use; number three, anabolic steroid use is lower than estimates provided in the press; number four, that athletic drug use is similar to college student
use; five, that athletic drug use is social and experimental; six, that athletes generally obtain drugs from sources outside the athletic program, seven, athletes who use drugs are more likely to use them
with friends rather than teammates; eight, athletes begin using drugs in high school or earlier; nine, decisions not to use drugs are personal, they are not based on coaches' rules or laws, and ten, there is no consistent profile of athletes who use drugs.
When I hear the word abuse used in reference to substance use I think more of intoxication. There are users whose actions are impaired. As these actions become impaired, the condition of abuse and/or intoxication now prevails. As you begin to formulate your ideas and evolve your statement of policy, keep in mind this point of substance use. Many people today are substance users, not necessarily abusers. But, people have chosen their life in this manner. Another issue concerns are the terms alcohol and
drug use; there is a separation of the two. Alcohol is a drug in liquid form while cocaine is basically
in solid state. Recent studies on alcohol and cocaine use have shown the correlation in the deterioration of body organs. These new findings are focusing research on the possibility of a genetic risk factor. Based on these findings alcohol should not be separated from drugs, but rather included as a drug. From most colleges that I visited when I ask what the number one substance use problem is, the response
again is alcohol and again, in many cases, nothing was being done. There are a few colleges that have developed blood tests for identification of alcohol use, such as the University of Indiana and the University of Georgia. My question as to this test was, "How is the cutoff level established and how reliable is the test?"
Let us turn our attention to what I believe is the alternative to drug testing, and that is a sound drug education program. Our educational academic structure offers the availability to take this approach. Students are required to meet certain academic standards to fulfill their requirements for the curriculum. Colleges can use their expertise to help and implement a sound educational substance use program. Another feature that I support in this curriculum would be a mandated awareness course
as part of the athletic eligibility requirements. Monterey Peninsula College in Monterey, California just completed their first year under these guidelines without any apparent resistance. By having all students participate in this concept, we as educators can assist the students in the most difficult process of decision-making. The latest studies surrounding cocaine addiction and alcohol addiction is that there is conclusive evidence from research that there is an inherent predisposition to addiction. Furthermore, with these findings we are now facing a genetic risk dilemma, the possibility that an individual may be born vulnerable. The American education system is committed to educate our students. As students are made aware of these new findings, they will be dealing with additional decisions and choices concerning their attitudes toward substance use. Students need to know the misconceptions surrounding substance use. They need to develop coping skills to meet the stress of competition.
Through a comprehensive drug education program, I believe that we can obtain these goals and objectives.
My first association with Ron Heitzinger was in New Orleans, in the spring of 1986 at the Coach of the Year convention. Since then I have had the opportunity, as I said earlier, to sit in on two other sessions given by Ron and I can tell you at this point that his presentations have been informative, resourceful and providing outstanding leadership and direction in addressing the problem of substance abuse. We should continue to seek Ron's input to pursue the student-athlete support concept, as it is practical for our needs at the two-year college level. There is no need at this
time to go into the particulars of the student-athlete assistance program. In light of the information gathered I believe we must not give in nor feel that the battle is lost. Educators are committed to
this struggle of substance abuse. We may never stop the use of drugs, but we can teach our young people that life without substance abuse can and will bring joy and happiness to their lifestyles, that each day is meaningful and there is a purpose to their existence.
I have really taken somewhat of a firm stand about drug testing; probably more than anything else
I have concern for the mechanisms of drug testing themselves. As I continue to talk to people and make visits to see the actual administration of the drug tests, there still seems to be problems in litigatic There are constant drug testing programs developed in industries that seem to be getting involved in drug testing and then months later they drop the programs. We are beginning to see those kinds of thingl more and more thoughout the country. I also am beginning to see that drug testing is really not going to stay; it is coming for a short period of time and then will leave, I think, much like Mr. Ueberroth mentioned this morning. It may act as a deterrent, but I don't think it is going to solve the problem that we have on our campuses, and the cost has to be something that we have to consider. And, as I
talk to you people, as I move around and talk, money is the problem. We don't have the revenues nor thl athletic contests to generate those revenues to support any drug testing program.
There are other things I can speak to about drug testing, but I don't really want to get into that this morning. More than anything, I want to try and entertain some questions, because I am sure there are some things you need or want to ask. This is new to us; I don't have the questions. Are there any questions?
FROM THE FLOOR:
Talking about education, educating the athletes and eventually a program for the whole student body, what department do you think is most suited on campus to fill that educational need to teach
I have tried to pursue some funding from the federal government as it recently released some more monies, and their criteria is that it has to be campus-wide, it cannot be isolated to one department. We're in athletics and it seems we are in the limelight and I think the public is waiting for us. It can be done in any department, but I think our administration would like for us to eventually make it campus-wide. So, if it is a form of drug testing then we are going to have to thin, about doing it campus-wide.
FROM THE FLOOR:
How do you determine the scope of the problem in your particular case? In putting together your program, how did you determine the scope of seriousness, to determine what kind of program to use or whatever?
PETE LANGO :
Well, when I left California I thought, like many of you and all of us, that drug testing was thl answer. And I hear people in the military and service that are saying that they have been testing for years. And I talk to other people who have been in the service, who have sold their urine for years. You can buy clean urine; you can call an agency here in San Diego, I think, and they will shol you how to deal with drug testing. When I left that's what I thought it was, but as I began to see, I it was news to the state colleges and universities (I don't want to put anyone down, because we are all in this business together), but the mechanisms of the testing weren't done properly. They weren'l done legally. First, at one school, the trainer was doing the testing on a portable unit and kept on getting different readings on his unit, and it was the temperature in the room that was causing the distortion in the readings.
We did a survey back here in California. We surveyed the administration on'the campus and then we did a survey with the student-athletes. I believe there were 10 or II colleges given the student questionnaire. Iadmihistered it on our campus to the athletic teams and from that data the question ( alcohol surfaced again as the number one problem. On different campuses, there were different data. Also, as I traveled in metropolitan areas they'd say, "Yeah, we have a lot of problems." When I'd get out into the midwest states, Iowa and the Dakotas, they'd say, "No, we don't have any problems."
At some schools I would ask coaches, "Row do you feel about the drug testing that is coming about It could happen in your institution." They would say, "I am not in the business of drug testing. ThB none of my business, I am not a health instructor, I am a coach and that is all I am going to do. And they are doing drugs, out they go." It was that simple. So there are different kinds of reactions.
was at the NCAA Forum here in Los Angeles. I was somewhat surprised, as were some of the institutions
that the NCAA wanted the schools to begin post-season testing immediately that fall. A lot of them were hurrying around to try and find out whether they were going to get monies and how they were going to do
it, but it was going to come about.
Drug testing in the major colleges tested out 50 percent users, that's what we know right now. Project 20 percent of college students use or abuse drugs on college campuses these days. of the
20 percent, it is broken down into four categories of five percent. The threat of drug testing alone
will stop some students, kids who are just going to parties because drugs are there and other people are using. If they have a drug testing threat they will stop. The second five percent, which are the social users, if they have a choice of using drugs or having a punitive outcome tied up with sports, they make the choice of not using drugs. The other 10 percent, even with a testing program, you'll find kids who show positive three or four times until something major happens to them, such as being kicked off the
team, having their parents called or something else negative happening to their scholarship; they won't stop. No matter what you do- testing, education, they'll still use drugs. What you have to do with education is draw param~ters around those people and if they get caught, help is offered first.
A lot of schools are doing blood tests. There's one near us in Bakersfield that is doing it. Just following the chain of custody, if you were to hear how the samples are transported from the
institution to the lab, there can be a lot of things that can happen. I am not saying that ~ ~ drug testing is out, my concern is for the mechanisms. Some student-athletes end up carrying the samples to the school of medicine on campus. That's my concern. And we can say, "Well, it's not going to happen." But these kind of criminal kinds of things that Ueberroth spoke of are going to start to infiltrate. There is masking of these tests.
I think the NCAA was the first athletic entity to endorse the USOC drug testing program when it
first came out. Just recently, we found the USOC had money available for a grant for drug testing and there was a possibility that come the next school year we will do some testing at the major campuses.
At this particular time I can't tell you what. We are also very leery of this litigation that is caused by that. The NJCAA, not the NCAA, spends a million or two dollars a year on litigation and just one good big litigation will wipe us out. We are going slowly, but there is a possibility that we could have some testing next year if the grant comes through and if the custodial questions you brought up are proper and so on. When the NCAA tested this year they sent the results back to the individual institutions, and it was not the NCAA who was going to take the action, it was the individual institutions.
There are still a lot of unanswered problems, a lot of unanswered questions. That is my concern for the drug testing. I would like to see our campus wait a little bit and meanwhile institute the student assistance program that Ron is sharing with us. The one thing about drug testing that I
keep hearing is that you really need to think that process out and if you are going to get into drug testing.
FROM THE FLOOR:
Is there any instrument that would assist in assessing the level of drug use within a program?
PETE LANGO :
Not that I know of at the present. The substance use is a problem and it continues to be with us. I'd really like to see us not separate the alcohol. We keep on putting alcohol aside and all you have to do is pick up the newspapers and see the tragic things that are happening. You've got related
stories like the baseball player for the community college was in this area speaking to an individual there who was in the coaching business who was away from the home and his son is a pretty good player. That afternoon there were some kids over for a drinking party and alcohol was heavily involved. A gun surfaced, the young man got shot and now he is paralyzed. Those kind of stories just keep on coming
out. Just two days ago an individual ran an intersection and killed a young lady two weeks from graduation, and that alcohol is just there. We've got to do something about alcohol, not just the other drugs,
cocaine and marijuana. As I look in this room and as I go to places alcohol is being used. We are not saying people are abusers; I am an alcohol user, but I don't want it to jeopardize my actions and impair things that I do, nor have any tragic incidents happen with you while you are out on the streets like we all are.
Just a quick comment on alcohol and, Peter Ueberroth's talk about it this morning. What with
six baseball teams being owned by distilleries or breweries and his emphasis on drugs. with cutting out the word alcohol. you can see where he was coming from. I'm leaving Friday to go up to Seattle to work with all the minor leaguers they chose in the draft. My major concentration is on alcohol. because in nine out of 10 high school or college kids. I see the problems are alcohol problems. They
They are not drug problems, they are alcohol problems. For study and information, we recommend that you just get this back on campus. It's called, "Abuse Attack" and I have a copy in my briefcase. All it is is a single little piece of litmus paper. You get the kids to lick it and it will tell if he has any alcohol. For team rules, for underage drinking, for anything, you just have to ask for it for your program. They cost 40~ apiece. So, when you look at the hugh $40-50,000 drug testing programs, look at alcohol as a major component. If you have any problems on your campus right now, just look at alcohol.
FROM THE FLOOR:
Is there any indication that this use is any more prevalent with the athletes than the student
Not according to the surveys that we are getting back. In my classroom, I teach a drug awareness course on our campus, I've got a mixture of students coming in now; it's campus-wide.
FROM THE FLOOR:
How about the folks that have this testing program, what do they do if the test is positive? What are they doing with the athletes?
It's usually a three-step process. We went to 20 major colleges to set up their programs. The first time positive, it is just between the athlete and the doctor. Then they are recommended to go into either counseling or an assessment. A second time, the coach and the parents may be notified of the series of outcomes. A third positive results in either loss of status on the team or loss of scholarship. So. it is a three-step process.
PETE LANGO :
At one of the community colleges in our area that drug test, they just tell them, "You're gone." If they get a positive they send them home. They have a lot of people from out of the area, so they just send them home. I have been visiting and talking to some athletes that tested positive; no questions were asked, they were disqualified from the team. I still think we are going to see litigat I think as the testing keeps coming in and as it is being administered, you are going to have to face question of litigations as you are going along.
Recently, I questioned the way we are and what riles me up is the fact that we are tax supported. Every position and division on our campus is from tax dollars. Can we have tests for drugs in the athletic department using tax dollars if we aren't going to do it clear across campus? We have some serious questions about that and the fact that we may be discriminating against the athlete using tax dollars. Which is a problem most of us have, compared to the Division I-A schools, because they incorporate their athletic department and get their money elsewhere.
FROM THE FLOOR:
That's why I am trying to get our community colleges to take Ron's position the student assistaru programs. He offers assistance to come on campuses and train those people. So, the answer probably is no one right now. I think what Ron would like to see done in those kinds of programs is give some direction to someone else. If a student-athlete comes to me with a drug or alcohol problem, I should be able to give him some assistance.
Schools who have the drug education program, who is going to teach in those colleges?
We have to utilize the expertise on our campus as well as in our community because our commun eventually is going to get involved. From the survey we administered, student-athletes are the pe who are having problems and substance users are turning to their families, they are not turning to coaches for help. They are talking to their families about their problems.
You have to develop a statement policy of what all you're going to put into it. I think you need to do that first of all and keep in mind the litigation and go from there. I really like Ron's concept because we've got our educational system built in and we just have to restructure it a little bit and go from there because the money obviously isn't there.