Understanding the causes and effects of drug abuse among teenagers

By Kayla Holeman, Dante Wilds and Z-iara Jones

There is a drug problem at Patterson High School and dozens of other schools all over Baltimore. But why do people do drugs in school? What is the purpose of young people engaging in this harmful behavior? Why do they like to smoke in schools? Is there a reason why they do what they do?

Students take drugs for a variety of reasons: because they are experimenting, because of family history or genetic predisposition, because they got addicted to prescription drugs, because of loneliness, peer pressure and more. You can tell if someone is using drugs because of the way they act or look; for example, change in friends (to hang out with kids who use drugs), having red or puffy eyes, etc.

Drugs can have serious ramifications on a person’s physical health, mental health and well being. And that’s not good at all. We want students to stop taking drugs and to be more healthy because if they don’t stop, it can create changes in the way their brains work. Drug abuse changes your brain chemistry, which is not good. The longer you use drugs, the more damage is done and the harder it is to go back to normal. It is very hard to go back because you get so addicted to it that you don’t know when to stop.

There are 175 different public schools in Baltimore City, and most of them have a problem with kids smoking marijuana or using other drugs in school. Kids are smoking in bathrooms and in the hallways and on stairwells. And that’s not good. We want kids or anyone else taking drugs to stop and be healthy.

To stop drug abuse, always talk to whoever is taking it because they can be going through a lot at school or at home or anywhere. Or they can just do it because they see someone else doing it because they think it’s cool. Just by talking to them and helping them see that drug abuse is bad and that it’s not good for you at all, hopefully they will change their minds and get on the right track.

We really do need drug abuse to stop because it’s really, really bad. This is why people are taking drugs and we need to stop and help people who are taking it and change people’s lives. If you or someone you know is struggling with a drug problem, there is a free substance abuse counseling program at Patterson that can help. For more information, speak to Ms. Smith in the Guidance office or call New Beginnings substance abuse counseling at 443-310-2409.

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