Drug Abuse is Life Abuse
Want cinnamon, vanilla, cotton, or any other flavors of candy? Why have it in an e-cigarette instead of the real thing? They might be tasty, but the body actually hates it. What exactly is drug abuse? Drug abuse is a substance use disorder which is caused by the habit of taking addictive substances. It causes people to have an irresistible urge to use substances no matter the consequences that follow. Teens can be subjected to drug abuse through peer pressure, curiosity, and pleasure among many reasons. Teens will go into drug use for reasons such as having low self esteem, a parent, sibling, or friend using it, and their life being difficult among many others. To a teen, drugs will make a big impact on one’s life whether they are aware of it or not. Drug use and abuse can lead to the weakening of immune systems, lung diseases, memory problems, seizures, strokes, mental confusion, and brain damage.
Drugs are more prevalent in high school than one may think. Recent statistics demonstrate that nearly 20% of high school students in the United States and 27% of high school students in California have been offered, sold, or given illicit drugs on school property in the past year. The most commonly used drugs by high schoolers are prescription and over-the-counter medications according to the Monitoring the Future survey. Examples include vicodin, adderall. cocaine, and nicotine, all that can be dangerously addictive. Based on a research done by the National Public Radio, they found that 1 in 5 high school seniors are vaping nicotine in 2018. Moreover, the biggest prevalent illegal drug among teens is marijuana; a whopping 36.4% of high school seniors have used marijuana in the past year.
All the drugs aforementioned are highly addictive, even marijuana! In fact, 17% of young users of marijuana, especially high schoolers, become addicted. These drugs affect the brain’s reward system to release dopamines that increase mood and positive feelings. This makes a person feel inclined to repeat the activity. However, doing the same activity overtime may dull the effects of this reward system, causing the person to increase their intake of the drug in order to compensate and get back to the same high level of pleasure that they initially felt. Thus, this starts the vicious cycle of a drug addict.
An alarming amount of high schoolers are becoming increasingly involved with dangerous drugs and are risking their physical and mental health as well as their academic success. Health effects from long term use of drugs include but are not limited to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, HIV/AIDS, cancer, seizures, stroke, mental confusion, and brain damage.
So if you or someone you know today have a problem regarding drug abuse, consider having you or that person talk to a friend, an adult, or a trusted person. Everyone can help one another, as long as we are aware of the risks that drug abuse have. In serious circumstances involving professional help, consider contacting SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 800-662-HELP.