Drug Abuse within Teenagers

Photo Creds: DrugAbuse.com

Photo Creds: DrugAbuse.com

In recent years, drug use has increased tremendously. With drugs being easier to access, kids in grade school and high school are focusing more on chasing a euphoric high rather than chasing their future.

After students were locked down from the Covid virus, many people had different reactions. Some had a great time and grew as people, while others fell into depression which resulted in increased drug use to cope with their emotions. “I got really depressed during covid because of my family situations and I wasn’t allowed to leave my house. I wish I never ended up using drugs because I still have a problem with it today, but I’ve gotten a lot better once I was able to talk about it to my close friends,” says an anonymous source.

A high risk of substance use in high school students typically is caused by adverse instances in their life (i.e., injury, criminal justice involvement, school dropout, loss of life). Kids that deal with these circumstances struggle with finding an outlet and resort to heavy drug use because it’s known to make you feel nothing at all. “I feel like people use substances to escape from whatever they’re dealing with. It helps them cope in a way,” says senior Roderic Wilkinson.

The way drugs are presented to the world as more of a stress reliever, it takes away from the fact that they’re dangerous. “My uncle used to go on drives while he was high so he could escape his money problems. He got into a really bad accident that led to him dying. It took a big toll on my family and I because we didn’t really think it that serious until something like that happened,” says sophomore Laura Nguyen.

Guardians that freely abuse drugs in front of minors set unhealthy examples. Children that watch parents as to why their behavior changes and why the sudden maltreatment comes into play, study with curiosity that they’ll later explore themselves. These unaware adults that get their drugs from dealers don’t notice that it’s passed on to younger ones.

Dealers having easy access to drug substances lead students that have social media to contact them illegally without facing the consequences of getting caught. “I had a few friends that would contact their dealers through Snapchat or Instagram and they would meet up with them in a location,” says junior Katya Yaremenko.

Even though a lot of people struggle with this every day, there are other ways that can help them stop using drug substances or to help them cope with their problems. Yaremenko shares her thoughts on solutions that could help those who struggle with drug use, “I think that having easier access to rehabilitation facilities would definitely be really beneficial to those seeking to want help.” 

A survey was done at Prairie High School that asked fifty students if they’ve ever been given the opportunity to take drugs and 74% of them responded with yes. “My first time trying drug substances was in school. I was at a party and people kept coming up to me and asked if I wanted to try it,” from an anonymous source.

When getting caught with drugs in school, the student(s) typically get punished with either in-school suspension, detention, or even expulsion. “I’ve had a few friends that have gotten kicked out of school because they were caught doing drugs at school,” says senior Bailey Kousonsavath.

Not only does substance use affect the person’s health but it also impacts others around them as well. Family and friends may not know how much their loved one is relying on the drug. “My sister used to struggle a little bit with substance abuse and got into a really bad accident. It really scared my entire family and I because we didn’t know if she was even going to make it. But thankfully she was ok and started opening up to us about it,” says freshman Kayla Rhodes.

All things considered, with drug use becoming more populated, more and more students are having to take in the negative consequences. Drug use is not something to just throw aside. If someone you know is struggling with the side effects of substances, reach out immediately to get them help and so they can have a new view on happiness without the drugs.