Peer Pressure : Substance Abuse

For those that are familiar with my campus’ paper, you may find the following article familiar. But for those who don’t have the opportunity to receive the publication I write for, here’s one of the pieces I wrote. Hope you find it at least a little interesting:

Peer Pressures Behind High School Drug Abuse

By Mike Washington ‘12

High School, a place that can either “make or break you”, some students say. In elementary school, we looked forward to one day being able to go class to class, have our own locker, and move past the world of cooties and into the world of dating. However, one aspect of this dream campus was overlooked: peer pressure. As children, our biggest problems were trivial things in the areas of who gets next swing at tetherball or that we were unjustly “cut” in the handball line. As we’ve grown up, so have the problems we have to deal with. Peer pressure can cause us to do things that we never in our wildest dreams would be caught doing. Although we go to a private Christian school, that isn’t necessarily a guaranteed safeguard against all the things of the outside world. It may be more closely guarded than a public school, but teens today will still struggle with many topics. For one, drugs.

There are many reasons why teens get started on drugs. For one, “teens do drugs because they want to fit in with the crowd,” says blogger Shaniqua Watson. “They want to be cool [and] they don’t want to be teased about it”. Whether it’s to escape from the problems around you, or you just want to be rebellious to authority, it can ultimately lead you to a place that you never wanted to go.

The top five drugs used by teens today (according to treatmentsolutionsnetwork.com) are marijuana, prescription drugs, ecstasy, inhalants, and cocaine and heroin. Most of these drugs are not hard to get a hold of by teens, which is the reason why they are so popular. However, the people who use the drugs just are not fully aware of how hazardous these substances can be to their still growing bodies.

“I was introduced to drugs when I was in the ninth grade” said one student of a neighboring high school. “It was a friend in the marching band [of the high school I was going to] that introduced me to the drugs. The drug that I was doing was marijuana. Although I didn’t experiment with other [kinds of] drugs, it doesn’t make it any better.” The student who owns these words wishes to remain anonymous, however this individual’s story can be very similar to many other situations high school students now struggling with this addiction.

The day he was caught will be a day he will never forget. “I was caught with the pot on November 1st. It was in 6th period when an office worker came down to bring me back up to the office. When I got there the admins (administrators) were very serious and stern. They asked me questions that were to the point and [asked] nothing else when they searched me and they left the rest up to the police.”

When asked about how drug tolerance is different in that of a public school as compared to a private, the student replied “the admins considered it very serious, and they ended up expelling me. They don’t take it lightly. I honestly don’t think it matters what kind of a school you are enrolled into. Drugs will always be found and there will always be people doing them.”

“I thought at the time that they were freaking out over nothing. But now that I look back on the predicament, I think that they reacted in the way they should of. They were just trying to make school safe.”   Wherever you are, being in possession of drugs for whatever reason is not the wisest choice to make. As everybody knows, drugs can harm the body and cause damage, yes, however it can also affect your future. If caught, the fact that you were expelled for possession goes on your permanent record, and not only do colleges see that, but so do your future bosses and employers. Drugs can ruin a life in more ways than one.  “Everyone. Stay off of drugs so that you don’t end up getting kicked out of school.”   This anonymous source has been clean of the drugs ever since his expulsion from the school.

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