Teenage Drug Use

October 20, 2010
By Gina. BRONZE, Portland, Oregon
Gina. BRONZE, Portland, Oregon
1 article 0 photos 1 comment

Your older sister comes home, and tells you she has to tell you something. What is the big secret? She is addicted to heroin. You cannot believe your ears, but are willing to help her, of course. You take this experience as a lesson, being sure you will not get mixed up in the tangled web drug use weaves. The pressure on teens to conform is immense, and relieving the stress or wanting to fit in by using drugs is illegal, disappoints the people close to you, and could lead to serious, unwanted side effects.
As teenagers, you are not very concerned about the law, but as a drug abuser, you should be. Nearly two million arrests from 1994 to 2003 were juveniles involved in drugs, which made up over twelve percent of all drug related arrests (Juvenile Drug Abuse.) Besides you receiving drug charges, being under the influence can get you arrested for other misdemeanors, and possibly felonies. Since drugs impair reaction and thinking ability, you are more vulnerable to drink and drive or commit crimes like assault or burglary. It is important to keep in mind that you do not just get in trouble for being on drugs, but for selling them, or even having them in your possession. A laundry list of charges awaits you if you are caught with drugs.
Although you may not think your dug use takes a toll on anyone else, it affects the people who love you more than you could ever know. Parents are dying to know what they did wrong, trying to find the flaws they made, and blaming themselves. Friends are shocked, never thinking it was going to be you, realizing how much you had changed, and becoming more and more distant. In some cases, parents or family can be at fault. If a history of alcohol or drug abuse is present at home, children are at an increased risk of following in their footsteps. When a child sees from an early age that their parents find it okay to drink heavily and get high, they don’t think it’s a big deal to do it themselves. As the parents feed their addiction, the children figure it is ok to gain the addiction as well, that their “guardians” will take care of them and cover for them. Classmates can also be the cause of abuse. Peer pressure is common, and if a student knows that they can get drugs from another student, they most likely will. According to the “National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse XIV: Teens and Parents," 64 percent of high school kids know where to get drugs in school. When you go to a party with alcohol, it could also be very hard to resist drinking when everyone around you is offering you a drink. Although everyone says, “A true friend will know you and your limitations, and will not ask you to do anything you don’t want to do,” it is not always like that. When you choose to get high over those who care about you, you are digging yourself deeper and deeper into the hole of addiction.
When most people go under the influence, they are not thinking about how their choices could affect their health. Some tend to think that only getting high every once in a while will have no effect. In reality, every time you get high, your brain gets more accustomed to having the drug in its system. When the high fades, your brain needs more to keep the feeling it has become used to. Your brain is not mature enough, making you more prone to become an addict. Many health consequences include cancer, risk of HIV, and Hepatitis C, destroyed nasal septum, cardiac arrest, and death (Juvenile Drug Abuse.) The important thing to realize is what you are putting into your body, and how it can harm you, as well as how it can harm those around you. With all the media stories about celebrities being arrested or dying because of drugs, teens should take action. Do not focus on how peers will view you when you refuse drugs. Think about living a full and healthy life. After all, would you rather lead a life of sickness and disappointment than one of freedom and happiness?

After learning of your sister’s addiction, you know what you want your life to be like. You have learned from her mistakes, and want to let other people know that drugs are serious and come with consequences. Drug use affects so many people, in so many ways. No matter how hard you are pressured or want to fit in, resist those who offer you the toxic substance that will make you cool, liked, and popular. You know better, and are aware of the crimes it can come with, the hearts it breaks, and the lifelong, sometimes fatal, complications it leads to.

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