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Are School Programs an Effective Way to Prevent Kids from Using Drugs

Drug and alcohol addiction and substance abuse in general has taken the nation by storm and in a big way too.  Sadly, the demographic most affected by addiction crisis issues is young adults of school age.  These are the ones that easily by far get afflicted and addicted the most.  Substance abuse is a deadly crisis for anyone who is affected by it, and that shows in the simple factor of how many people die every year from it.  However, young adults truly do suffer a lot more than older adults do.  They become addicted more easily, and they have a much higher likelihood of relapsing and dying and overdosing and getting into accidents than people who do not abuse substances or even just people who do abuse substances but who are older in age.

As drug and alcohol abuse and addiction is definitely a rising concern and crisis, the key factor and main question at this point is how to address these issues, and what can be done about them to bring their severity down a bit.  The following statistics show just how consistent and major these crisis issues are and why they need to be addressed:

  • Six out of ten teenagers said at least some students at their schools use drugs. Among high school students, the number was eight out of ten.
  • Crystal meth abuse is at its worst amongst the nation’s youth.  This is particularly troublesome as the youth is the future.  For example, in the year 2007 four and a half percent of American high-school seniors and four percent of tenth grade students reported using methamphetamine at least once in their lives, and a very high percentages of those who admitted to using meth once also admitted to being heavily addicted to meth.
  • Cocaine is becoming increasingly more popular amongst young adults.  For example, among high-school students in the United States, almost a full ten percent of twelfth graders had used cocaine according to the special 2006 Monitoring the Future Study done by the National Institute for Drug Abuse, (NIDA).
  • Sadly, drug and alcohol abuse and addiction is now a much bigger problem in our schools than it ever was before.  Studies show that about one out of every school-age adolescents have tried a hard, illegal, street drug by the time he or she turned eighteen.  One out of every five such individuals tries prescription drugs for abusive purposes before completing school or before turning eighteen.  About fifty percent of them abuse marijuana or abuse alcohol before they turn eighteen.
  • In one particular study, non-medical users of prescription stimulants skipped 16.1 percent of their classes while non-users skipped only 9.4 percent of their classes.  Studies also show that the most common source of prescription stimulants for students was a friend with a legitimate prescription for the drug who was selling off his or her excess of the drug. The non-medical use of prescription stimulants is more common among students now too and is in fact an epidemic for students. Studies have found that no less than 4.1 percent to 10.8 percent of college students reported using prescription stimulants for non-medical purposes during the past year.

These factors and statistics are concerning to say the least.  Though they are trying hard to do so, it would appear that American school systems are not entirely capable of keeping drugs and alcohol out of the hands and bodies of their students.  This is a pretty concerning issue and it needs to be addressed far sooner rather than later.  It is a hardship to try and face a life where addiction is such a problem in our schools but there it is.  It most definitely is a problem and it will continue to be a problem until something major is done about it.  Now more than ever, parents and concerned citizens all across the nation need to do something about the deadly and dangerous addiction problem that is happening in their very schools.


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