Teen Drug and Alcohol Abuse


Story by Victoria Fondeur, Copy Editor

Teens everywhere struggle with substance abuse, even in our small community. Reasons behind teen drug and alcohol abuse extend much further than stereotypes, and it is important for people to know these reasons so they can help. 

  The most obvious reason, and the one that is most talked about, is the want to “fit in” or submit to peer pressure. This reality should not be discounted as a reason just because it may sound cliche, and there are many teens that struggle socially and turn to unsafe ways of fitting in. 

That being said, it is not the only reason teens can turn to drugs and alcohol. 

Drug and alcohol abuse in teens can also be an effect of dealing with depression, anxiety, and stress. Substances may temporarily relieve someone of distress either from mental health factors,or something that is physically hurting them. This temporary relief leads many young people to think that because they feel good, what they are doing is not hurting them. In fact, about half of high school students have resorted to marijuana usage, according to the CDC.

“I think if more people were open-minded to having these tough conversations, a lot more could be accomplished and more people could seek professional treatment, said Global Writing block teacher, Rosanne Oliverio. “I would assume people or teens need to feel comfortable with an adult, someone they can talk with, so that’s the first step. Having someone in your corner, offering direct or indirect support can mean everything to someone trying to overcome an addiction filled life.”

Living in a competitive world with athletics and academics, many students use drugs for stimulation and for better performance. For example, a competitive drive can cause athletes to use steroids because they believe it will improve their performance, when in reality, the drugs are damaging their body mentally and physically.

  “With usage of outside sources such as drugs and alcohol you can get carried away and have many side effects that negatively impacts your playing abilities,” said sophomore Rylie Leland. “Also, with steroids and other drugs, you may do better in games depending on the individual, but the risks and side effects outweigh the positives, and they can be detrimental to not only your skills, but your health.”

The consequences of teen drug and alcohol abuse are immeasurable. Of course, it is illegal for any person under 21 to be using drugs and alcohol recreationally, but that does not stop young people from abusing substances. Addiction starting at a young age is detrimental to the brain and how a person continues to develop. As someone grows, their dependence on substances may grow if they were exposed at a young age. Drugs and alcohol also come with safety concerns, such as the dangers of driving under the influence and accidental injuries. 

Whether one uses drugs and alcohol for personal reasons, or simply just to fit in, it is important to remember that there is always a better option. Finding someone to trust and open up to is unquestionably difficult, but here at school, we have many trusted counselors and teachers that can help. 


If you or someone you know has had/ is having a problem with substance abuse, do not hesitate to call the SAMHSA National Helpline- 1-800-662-4357


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