Drug Use in School

By Bree Beleya

Why do teenagers use drugs? There are countless reasons. Many are reacting to peer pressure and believe turning to drugs and alcohol is how to become popular in high school. Some use drugs to self-medicate from painful feelings. Some teens even turn to study aid drugs like Adderall or Ritalin, because they believe these substances will boost their grades. High school is often the first time that kids encounter illegal substances and the curiosity can be too much to resist. In the U.S., teens abuse alcohol more than any illegal drug. Not surprisingly, they cause the most harm to teens. Alcohol abuse is responsible each year for nearly 200,000 ER visits and 4,300 deaths among kids under 21. According to The Recovery Village

-68% of 12th graders have tried alcohol

-37.4% of 12th graders drank in the last month

-23.5% of 10th graders drank in the last month

Among high schoolers, within the month they were surveyed:

-35% drank some alcohol

-21% binge drank (consuming an excessive amount)

-22% rode in someone’s car who’d been drinking

- 10% drove after drinking

In terms of illegal drugs, studies show teens use marijuana the most. More high school seniors smoke pot than smoke cigarettes at this point. High school seniors are about as likely to smoke weed as they are to drink. Nearly 3,300 teens try weed for the first time every day, it’s an undeniable problem that’s impacting high schoolers everywhere.

-35.1% of 12th graders have smoked pot in the past year - 21.3% of 12th graders have smoked pot in the last 30 days - 16.6% of 10th graders have smoked pot in the last 30 days - 6% of 12th graders say they use marijuana every day - 81% of 12th graders say it would be easy to get marijuana - Only 32% of 12th graders feel that regular marijuana use is harmful

Approximately 2.5% of seniors are caught up in cocaine use. This may seem small, but it amounts to more than a million teens doing drugs that could kill them. High school deaths are reported each year for nearly every drug on that list. Don’t assume that your kids aren’t using, or that they’re safe from these dangers. It’s a mistake that far too many parents have made in the past. Drugs, any kind of drugs are bad for teens because you can have a heart attack, seizures, strokes, etc. Teens can help themselves by communication. If they have someone in their life to explain the risks of drugs, it could help. If you suspect that someone you know is using drugs you can refer them to this number for help. CALL 1-800-633-3239. Communication is always the key.

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