A Plague on the Rise

A Plague on the Rise

Gavin Haines, Editor

Teen drug use has been a hot topic as of recently as drugs are becoming more prevalent in today’s society. More than 90,000 Americans died of an overdose in 2020. Addiction is more likely to start in the teen years that’s why delayed first-time use and abstinence is important.

Peer pressure along with influence have a major role in a teen’s choices throughout life.

“I think it’s very important for people to stay away from drugs completely, but definitely in high school if you’re going to do them,” said sophomore Wesley Bird.

Risky substance uses and addiction is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and in most cases, it begins in the teen years. Youth who start drinking before age 15 are 7 times more likely to develop alcohol use disorders as adults than those who wait until after age 18. The effects of teen substance abuse can become irreversible or lead to risky decisions with huge consequences.

“I think the use of drugs is a very irresponsible and dumb decision, nothing good comes out of it and you always eventually get caught,” said senior Ethan Coffman.

Across the country from 2016-2020 drug use went up 61% among all eighth graders. In twelfth graders, 62% have reported abusing alcohol. 50% of teenagers have misused a drug at least once. Just in the state of Indiana alone, teenagers are 2.17% likely to have used drugs in the last month than the average American teen.

“Teen drug use has become a big problem in our country recently and I don’t see anything being done about it, I think there needs to be something done before it gets out of control,” said junior Corbin Wells.

Millions of teens nationwide are being affected each and every day from the use of drugs or drug-ran environments they grow up in. Deaths and overdoses are becoming more and more prevalent as we speak. The use of drugs has amplified through the use of social media and a false persona that drugs are acceptable in today’s world; making it seem “cool” to use them.

“I think social media has had a substantial influence in the way teens view drugs in today’s society and it is starting to take a visible toll,” said sophomore Dax Frost.