Addiction: The problem affecting our youth

November 9, 2018

We live in a society that has never really done anything to stop the problem of addiction. In fact, drug use is almost encouraged amongst a particular group: teenagers.  We are constantly exposed to drugs, we know how to get them, and are almost brainwashed to crave the high they provide.The media is no stranger to promoting drugs, whether it be in an Instagram post or a song that plays in a loop on the radio.  There is absolutely no way to escape it. 

The harsh reality of it all is that trying something just once and getting hooked on it is incredibly common within youth. According to The Addiction Center, “Approximately 20 percent of 12th graders reported binge drinking in 2014. Nearly 40 percent had used alcohol in the last month.” The statistics demonstrate that there is a problem within youth and no one is doing anything about it. I understand that there is absolutely no physical way to stop teenagers from drinking, but drinking at a party and drinking with the goal of blacking out are two very different things. High school students are exposed to alcohol in a very critical period of their life resulting in many individuals seeing alcohol as an escape and blatantly ignoring the long term consequences.

Our generation has grown up around technology and as it advances, so does the lack of control over what young people are buying. It is easy to access sites that sell e-cigarettes and it is not hard to buy them, so it is no surprise that there has been a rise in teenage use.  Many students at Carlsbad High School are not strangers to walking into the bathroom and seeing our peers hitting Juuls, a new type of cigarette that comes with new types of consequences. Most teens are given the impression that these new e-cigarettes and vapes are less toxic to their bodies, but these brands don’t care about their consumers, only the money they are making off of 16-year-olds.

The fact of the matter is that a majority of students, especially at CHS, are so dependent on Juuls or mods that they have to leave an English class to hit it in the bathroom. It may seem almost comical when freshmen are seen doing such things but this is the truth, the truth that has made itself clear in high schools all over the U.S. According to Initiativetruth.org“One Juul pod contains twenty cigarettes worth of nicotine.” This contradicts the promise that these new cigarettes are not as dangerous.

For a student in high school, ages where our brains are not yet done developing, putting nicotine and alcohol in our bodies is a form of self-destruction. We are simply left waiting to see how these things that are deemed as “fun” right now will affect our health in the future. It is up to us to educate not only ourselves and others on what we are putting in our bodies, but also understand that this is an issue that can be resolved. There is help for those who seek it out and there are other students who will fully understand. 

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