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You, Drugs, and Their Negative Ramifications

Marie Caraccilo, Editor

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By: Marie Caraccilo, Editor

According to recent studies, approximately 44.40% of 12th graders across the nation have illegally used marijuana at least once in their lifetime. The use of illicit drug abuse in today’s adolescents has drastically increased over the years. With the sudden upsurge of illegal activity in young adults, society is merely left to goggle at the elevated statistics concocted from a wide array of high school studies.

“I have to have conversations with students concerning drug-related issues at least once a week,” Mrs. Katie Hess confided. “Roughly three or four students have attained in-school suspension within the last year due to drug-related problems.”

Today’s youth chooses to involve themselves with drugs for a variety of different reasons, including insecurities, the desire for social acceptance, and being unaware of the negative ramifications associated with the use of particular drugs. Not everyone has great potential to eventually become involved with illicit activity. There are several risk factors that have a direct correlation with a teen’s susceptibility to drug abuse. Young adults who have a family history involving the abuse of drugs are more likely to try them at least once in their lifetime. Depression, anxiety, impulsive behavior, and low self-esteem are several other factors of a person’s life that can directly increase the chance of a person becoming involved in drugs.

Other common risk factors include, but are not limited to:

  • History of traumatic events
  • Feelings of social rejection
  • Lack of parental guidance
  • Academic failure
  • Availability of drugs
  • Relationships with peers involved in drug activity

When developing a relationship with drugs, a person generally tends to show sudden, extreme changes of attitude and behavior. There are several warning signs that one can look for in their peers to recognize if they need help. A few common warning signs include sudden changes in friends, eating habits, and sleeping patterns. Other recognizable symptoms of developing drug use are the loss of interest in previously favorable hobbies and family activities.

The use of drugs has a negative impact on one’s health. They can impair a person’s motor skills when driving, including their ability to react quickly and their quality of judgement. A lack of coordination, difficulty thinking, and problem solving are several other negative consequences that can be attained through the use of illegal substances. They can even disrupt one’s ability to learn and affect their memory.

One drug in particular has become increasingly popular throughout teens in today’s society- marijuana. According to teen.drugabuse.gov, smoking marijuana can affect a person’s brain’s ability to function and develop properly. Chemicals produced through smoking marijuana pass through one’s lungs, which then enter their blood stream. From there, the chemicals are able to access their vital organs, including the brain. This invasion has a negative impact on one’s body and their overall health. Smoking marijuana influences a person’s pleasure, memory, thinking, concentration, and their sensory and time perception. This is due to the release of dopamine into the brain, which triggers a “high” sensation. These affects can last for approximately one to three hours directly after the use of the drug. Some affects can even last for days.

Other health affects resulting from use of marijuana include:

  • Problems studying, learning new things, and recalling recent events
  • Poor coordination, balance, and movement
  • Poor decision making skills/judgement  (which can lead to risky behavior)
  • Increased heart rate (by 20 to 50 beats/minute)
  • Respiratory problems
  • Increased risk for developing anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts

Teen drug abuse has a substantial affect on their social lives and school performance, as well as their physical health. It is proven that the use of drugs at the adolescent stage of life can lower one’s grades and increase the likeliness for them to drop out of high school. Several of the affects of marijuana that last for days after use have a negative impact on the ability for one to learn and be motivated. Socially, prolonged use of illicit substances makes people less satisfied with their lives and can increase their chances to have more problems with their friends and family. The use of drugs early in life also allows teens a potential gateway to other drugs later on in life. Those who use drugs in their teenage years are more likely to try other drugs in the future than people who haven’t used drugs during their adolescence.

“My job is to help connect students involved with drugs to resources that are best fit for them,” Mrs. Hess mentioned. “There’s many resources available, including in-patient clinics, out-patient help, and therapists.”

There are a variety of networks and resources available to teens struggling with drug and substance addictions. One online service, called Sober College, is an addiction treatment program that specializes in helping young adults between the ages of 17 and 26. Another resource physically available in a variety of locations within the state of Kansas is The Inspirations for Youth program. There are Inspirations clinics stationed in Wichita, Overland Park, Kansas City, Olathe, and Topeka. This program strives to help teens attain necessary coping skills to live drug and alcohol free. The gender-specific program combines academics, therapy, and family involvement in order to improve teens’ lives. They teach teens to establish a sense of fun with sobriety.

The inclination of substance abuse in today’s society has a negative affect on the portion of teens involved with such activity. Teen drugs abuse is currently an uprising issue that will not halt without the proper education to adolescence about the negative ramifications of drug abuse and how it will overall negatively impact multiple aspects of one’s life. If you or someone you know is struggling with drug abuse or addiction, Mrs. Hess is a resource available to you in the guidance office located on the second floor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You, Drugs, and Their Negative Ramifications