Teen drug use prevelant, but combatable

Naomi Wiley, Staff Reporter

Even though total teen drug use has depleted in the United States compared to European countries, statistically the US ranks higher when it comes to teens experimenting with drugs. According to the New York Times, “41% of tenth graders in the United States had tried marijuana, compared to 17% of those in Europe.

Also 23% of the students in the United States had used other illicit drugs,compared with 6% of Europeans.”   

“I’ve been around a lot of teenagers who have issues with drugs, family and friends, or just simply experimenting, but in my opinion, marijuana is the safest drug,” senior Ranae Simpson said. “There’s always people on the news who’ve either overdosed on more hazardous drugs and marijuana doesn’t seem as life threatening.”

“I feel as if drugs are not a huge issue at Elk Grove. I feel as if it’s not really talked about as much,” Simpson continued.

Teenagers can become easily addicted to drugs such as marijuana, heroin and other substances due to peer presure or stressing from school.

At Elk Grove High School, drug awarness week to help prevent teens from getting involved with hazardous drugs. Also the counselors can be huge a help when it comes to students wanting to let someone know they have issues.

“When teens are at the point where they are coming to see me (or any counselor) and talk about it they’re looking to make a change which is a very good thing,” counselor Scott Deutsch said. “So when I talk to students we try to think of why they are making the decisions that they’re making. Which we can work on to make some changes and try to get student(s) some help.”

Most teenagers use drugs to hide a deeper issue and sometimes come from a rough background. Afraid to tell an adult or a close family member, students typically begin to abuse substances without considering the outcome. Drugs can effect their mood or ability to think, playing a major role in helping teens make decisions.

Social media plays a huge part when it comes to teens experimenting with drugs. When teens see their favorite celebrity or some famous peroson they idolize using drugs, most teens believe that it’ll make them become more like a celebrity.

According to drugfree.org, “47% of teens agreed that movies and TV shows make drugs seem like an okay thing to do.”

Statistically, popular media also takes a huge toll on the teenage mind.

Stated on drugfree.org, “12- to 17-year-olds who viewed three or more “R” rated movies per month were seven times more likely to smoke cigarettes, and six times more likely to use marijuana.”