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Drug use and abuse in teens

Conner Necessary, Reporter

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THE question of whether or not to use drugs in high school is age old . Society has made it a mission to convince students not use any type of drug or alcohol. In school, students take classes that program them to think using drugs are bad. Regardless of all these efforts to prevent the youth from using drugs, in today’s society there is an alarming number of teens reported using some form of illegal substance.

“When I first started using drugs I was curious but after realizing the effects I definitely have cut back and forced myself to limit it more,” said a student we will call person 1. “I don’t think I will ever quit smoking completely but I have taken long period breaks.”

Although it is illegal to buy things like nicotine and alcohol, some students find it very easy to get ahold of these things and once they do the seed has been planted. According to Smoke.Free.gov, ¾ of teens who smoke cigarettes in high school will continue into adulthood. Once this habit gets put into your life, addictive drugs can be especially hard for teens to kick.“I think that the core issue with drugs is that after using them and seeing the powerful effects, users begin to mistake that feeling with a feeling that needs to always be raised,” said another student we will call person 2.

While most teens are introduced to the idea of using illegal substances at parties, others are shown these drugs as way to avoid life.“Looking back, the person who used drugs as an escape from reality and the person that they changed to now are completely different,” said another student we will call person 3.

The harsh realities of substance abuse are often displayed by celebrities in today’s world. Many celebrities such as Michael Phelps, Justin Bieber, Lil Wayne, Robert Downey Jr., Charlie Sheen, Demi Lovato and more have all battled the use of some illegal substance throughout their lives. While most loved ones in young adults lives are telling them not to use drugs or alcohol, many of their childhood heroes have had controversy involving their use. Just last month a famous rapper, Mac Miller, died from a drug overdose in his house. Seeing things like this make teens understand the extreme effects that drugs can have on their lives.

“I understand the seriousness that using drugs like this had but in the heat of the moment it seemed like a small crime,” person 2 said. “I spent so much money on my drug addictions that I never realized what else I could have been doing and that is one of my biggest regrets on it.”

This downward spiral of addiction can cause many problems in a teen’s life and, oftentimes, the friends are left to try and help the teen overcome these challenges.

“One of my closest friends began using drugs and alcohol to forget about her life problems and it turned into a vicious cycle,” person 1 said. “Whereas she used to do these things for a good time, it became more for a temporary relief. Watching someone else go through it shows how scary and easy it is to fall into a pattern of drug abuse and keeps me far away from it.”

Not only does seeing a close relative struggle with drug abuse deter their loved ones from using the drugs, it can also cause lots of emotional stress.

“It is hard to help someone in that mind frame because although you think what they are doing is obviously wrong, they are mentally in a place where that is their only solution,” person 3 said. Although doing this can be hard, it is important for people to know that battling drug abuse is something that they can get help with and end. With tools such as talking to a counselor or using a cessation program ending addiction is an achievable goal.

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About the Writer
Conner Necessary, Reporter

I'm a senior who plays basketball. I plan on studying either agribusiness or pre-med in college.

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