The final separation between drugs and school

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If you take a walk through the hallways of a standard North American high school at lunch hour today, you may be surprised by the obvious signs of drug use that can be easily detected by your senses. Then again, if you happen to be an average teenager sent walking down those hallways, you may not even be able to detect the abnormality of the situation. Drugs are constantly present amongst our high school students and are inevitably tied up with their lives. Therein lies the problem facing our youth today: the fact that student drug use has now become an expectation rather than an exception.

Recently, this ever-growing problem of drug use amongst high school students has led to serious issues for parents, teachers, school boards, and students themselves. These issues are numerous and serious in nature. Students are high in class or skip class to get high. This situation results in lower grades, which encourages kids to give up on school and drop out, or, for those who do graduate, get lower paying employment because of their lower marks. Also, since the students often smoke during breaks at school, the hallways get filled with smoke and the remains from the drugs. This lack of cleanliness creates a more uncomfortable work environment at the school, which can also cause teenagers to fall below their potential in their school work. In addition, drugs cause unnatural confidence and a lack of reasoning abilities. As a result, many teenagers act irresponsibly while high and commit stupid and dangerous stunts. Even if these stunts do not physically injure the adolescents, they can cause other issues. Such stunts can lead to arrests and/or criminal records, which can permanently prevent these teenagers from getting specific jobs. These students are also unknowledgeable about drugs and may either unknowingly take poisonous drugs, misuse the drugs, or overdose on drugs. All of these situations are extraordinarily dangerous and result in deaths every year. Yet, despite all of these consequences, drugs are still being used daily in high schools.

Clearly, drug use in high schools has become a very serious issue for all parties involved. A solution is needed quickly in order to save today's youth and render them responsible enough to run our world tomorrow. However, before such a solution can be created, one must first examine the reasons behind the drug use in the first place.

Based on my observations, I have concluded that there are four main reasons for which teenagers "do drugs". The first is to rebel against authority, whether it be their parents, teachers, or society in general. Drugs are forbidden by all authority figures. Right at the point of adolescence, teenagers have hormones telling them to resist authority and form their own lives. This makes drug use an appealing rebellion technique. The second reason is pure and simple curiosity. Again due to their hormones, teenagers are naturally eager and curious about everything new. Having all their friends doing drugs around them causes the students to become curious. The only way they can see to fulfill this curiosity is by doing the drugs themselves. A third reason is peer pressure. Teenagers are constantly in environments where they are trying to be cool and the same as everyone else. Many teenagers cannot say no when their friends pressure them to do drugs. They agree just to fit in with their environment. The final, fourth reason is for students to get a break from stress and just relax. Students are in highly stressful situations with changing hormones and demanding school. Sometimes, they simply can no longer handle the stress and require the drugs in order to relax. These reasons must all be removed should we wish to put a stop to teenage drug use.

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Upon examining the reasoning behind drug use, one can find a certain degree of sympathy for these adolescents. They are not just smoking to be obnoxious, but as the result of a combination of hormones, development, and environment. This being established, it becomes clear that simply punishing teenagers, as authorities have been continuously attempting for many, many years, will not solve the problem. The time has come for a new solution. One that reaches to the root of the problem, thus preventing it from ever re-growing.

Since somebody must be the first to speak, I now humbly present to you ...

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