High school students in Wisconsin could be given random drugs tests if they want to attend after-school activities.

The plan was proposed by the Republican representative Joel Kleefisch who believes the tests could help tackle heroin abuse amongst teenagers living in the American state. He made the suggestion at a meeting of a heroin task force, admitting that bringing in testing would be “a tough pill to swallow” for some but that it would help them identify which pupils were abusing the drug.

However, Cindi Duchow, another Republican state representative, raised concerns that the measure might scare some students.

But drug testing is already carried out at high schools in some districts of Wisconsin, although at the moment it is up to the individual school.

Drug use among teenagers in the United States has fallen to a record low, according to the U.S National Institute on Drug Abuse. But substance misuse in the state of Wisconsin is rising with 873 dying from drug-related causes last year, compared to 795 the previous year.

Students asked to take random tests

In the United States, only pupils who take part in extra-curricular activities can be made to take a drugs test. If they fail or refuse to take the test then they will no longer will allowed to participate in any after-school clubs.

Drug testing is not commonly carried out by UK schools but more and more workplaces are introducing policies to protect both their staff and the general public and discourage substance misuse.

AlphaBiolabs offers workplace drug testing to a variety of companies and organisations. The testing ranges from random testing to tests which are carried out because a complaint has been made or there is reason to suspect a member of staff may be abusing drugs.

Testing can also be carried out as part of the recruitment process. And if an employee has a history of drug use, they can be monitored as part of their return to work to ensure they do not start using illegal substances again.