HAMILTON (AP) -- Three-sport athlete Scott Jones of New Miami avoids parties where he knows classmates will be doing drugs.
Kiara Haygood of Fairfield hangs out with a lot of different social groups but turns down invitations to go out with friends when it's pretty clear they will be smoking pot.
And if saying "no" isn't enough, these D. Russel Lee students at Butler Tech have another tool to help them stay drug free: They've agreed to be drug tested.
The Fairfield Township vocational campus is the first school in Ohio to join the Drug Free Clubs of America, a movement started by two retired Cincinnati firefighters in 2006.
Eight high schools and middle schools in Northern Kentucky and four others in West Virginia are part of the nonprofit program.
Drug Free Clubs goes beyond other anti-drug programs by giving students a way out of peer pressure because they agree to be randomly drug tested while members of the club.
With clubs established in Kentucky and West Virginia, the Drug Free Clubs' small staff of two is making a push in Ohio. Executive director Angie Ferguson said Fairfield High School, a vocational school in Greene County and others in Pickerington have also expressed interest.
"The most important thing we give them in this program is the ability ... to say, 'I'm just as cool as you are, but I can't because I might get tested.' It's powerful," said Ed Emley, a fire-science instructor and retired Cincinnati firefighter who coordinates the Drug Free Club at D. Russel Lee.
The club started at the career center in October. Seventy-six of the school's 866 students signed up. Jones, a senior, was one of the first. He is club president. He also plays football, basketball and baseball, and he works two jobs.
"I wanted to be my own leader. I didn't want to follow anyone else's path," Jones said.
And the perks were OK, too. Each club chapter chooses their own.
At D. Russel Lee, Drug Free members have their own lounge with computers, frozen treats, soft drinks and freshly popped popcorn. A raffle is held monthly for a season pass to Kings Island amusement park. Showing their club membership card at local merchants entitles them to free ice cream or other items.
They also are put in the running for a $500 scholarship in an essay contest among Drug Free Clubs chapters in Kentucky and Ohio. Club membership also looks good on a resume for college or a job, Emley said.
Students at D. Russel Lee pay $20 to get in the club. The school picks up another $15, and Medicount Management, a corporate sponsor for local Drug Free chapters, picks up the remainder of the $65 fee.
Medicount is an ambulance billing company started by retired Cincinnati firefighter Joe Newcomb. He and Kyle Stevens, a Cincinnati firefighter, came up with the concept for Drug Free Clubs of America in 2005 and launched it the following year.
"In the circle of firefighters, you get tired of seeing kids with heartbeats of 250 and pinpoint pupils dying. It just gets real old to hear about it, to see it," Emley said.
That was exactly the motivation behind the program, said Ferguson, who is Newcomb's daughter. "They scoop them up when they've overdosed or had an accident or there's been some kind of fight as a direct result of some kind of substance abuse," she said.
The thought was that random drug testing works for adult employment, so why couldn't it be applied voluntarily to teens?
"After they get out of high school and go into business they are probably going to be drug tested at some time or another. Every day in regular business it works. There's no reason it wouldn't work when they are making their first decisions as teenagers if they are going to do (drugs) or not," Ferguson said.
"We weren't designed to replace 'Just Say No,' " she said. "It's just another strategy."
Jones has been randomly tested twice so far this school year.
Consequences for a dirty drug test aren't heavy-handed. The club member is quietly stripped of his membership card, but the information is not shared with school officials. The student's parents usually get a call from Ferguson or a club physician. They are given the names of drug counseling programs that will help their child.
Ferguson said she's made about 25 of those calls since the program was founded.
The random testing makes it more likely to catch the drug use in the experimental stages, Ferguson said.
Not all teens need the threat of a random drug test to keep from using, said Rick Flesch, a personal counselor at Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky, which has the highest percentage of student participation and is wrapping up six years in Drug Free Clubs. He said 334 of the school's 530 students -- 63 percent -- are enrolled.
"I think the randomness of it is probably an encouragement and an incentive for some of the guys to avoid some temptation," Flesch said, "but we do encourage, we do support, we do recognize positives. To me that is key."
Haywood knows some people think of her as a "goody two shoes" behind her back. But she also has another peer group in Drug Free Clubs that can provide the support she needs.
"I've already made the choice that I wanted to be drug free. Knowing that there are other people out there that are with me helps me stay on the right track," she said.