Let’s be real, teenage substance abuse is not an uncommon thing at all.Teenagers think they are invincible and the world is at our fingertips. According to a study done by DrugFacts.org “58% of high school seniors use alcohol on a regular basis.” This statistic is not surprising at all because I am currently studying at an university, and I am exposed to teenage substance abuse any given weekend. Earlier this year there was a hostage situation because of illegal substances about a mile away from my campus. In 2010, there was a full blown riot right off of campus and cops had to launch tear gas to tame the drunk crowd. What I’m trying to get at is that how prevalent substance abuse and the negative consequences that can happen: criminal consequences, addiction, death, and destruction of relationships. To find out more information on the impacts of substance abuse watch this video below.
How can we prevent teenage substance abuse? Well, education seems about the best way to prevent the substance abuse. If a teen knows the consequences then it is likely that they will stay away from it. The problem is that not every teen is exposed to the same amount of drug education, and because of this teen may not know the consequences of using harder drugs.
According to the National Association of State Boards of Education, drug education is not even required in schools. This is not surprising because the only drug education I was exposed to in Virginia public high school was the D.A.R.E program, which was not extensive. There are many instances where teens have overdosed on drugs that they tried without knowing the consequences.
Picture to the left is Sam Motsay. According to a CNN article, Sam was your normal run of the mill high school kid until one day he tried a synthetic drug and overdosed. Sam died. In the article it is stated that Sam’s parents believe that if Sam was educated on the possible impacts of synthetic drugs, he would’ve stayed away from the drug all together. Sam’s parents also note, that the school he attended did not provide any education on drugs.
Why is drug education important? Well, it can save lives and help teens not jeopardize their futures. There are many consequences either physiological or criminal for just trying a drug once. If you don’t know consequences then what is preventing you from not trying it?
Since drug use is becoming more prevalent with younger kids. Drug education should be started at an early age like this tweet is suggesting. Change will not occur without support. Don’t stand by and let the drugs take another adolescent. It is time to act.
To find out more about drug education and what each and everyone of you can do in order to increase drug education and bring change, check out my podcast attached below!