Drugs and alcohol are causing more problems in the world now than ever before. The place where this problem is the most disturbing is among adolescents. However children and teenagers certainly shouldnt be singled out of this problem. Nearly 17 million adults suffer from alcoholism in the United States.
This is a problem that people try not to pay attention to because the majority of people living in the United States drink themselves. Alcohol sells, that is the main reason it is legal right now.
When prohibition ended, it wasnt because people thought it would be good for society. What they were thinking about is that they were losing money by not having alcohol legalized. People were secretly having alcohol anyway. Since people were having it anyway, illegalizing alcohol may not be the perfect solution. For now, the only thing people need to keep in mind is that drugs and alcohol are bad for the human body and need to be used with extreme caution.
Many try hiding behind the fact that something is legal or illegal. In actuality everything should be taken with caution. For instance, an overconsumption of legal drugs can lead to as much damage as most illegal drugs. The United States consumes 80% of the worlds prescription painkiller supply, despite not even making up 5% of the worlds population (drugabuse.com). It doesnt help that prescription painkillers are easily accessible on the internet. About 3.8 million people misuse prescription painkillers in The United States. With 22.2 million users, marijuana is
the most used illicit drug in the United States. While the United States is not a big producer or trafficker of drugs, it is among the worlds top users of illicit substances. Americans are at the greatest risk of drug-related deaths and currently have the most people with prescription painkiller addictions in the world (michaelshouse.com).
As said earlier, almost 17 million Americans suffer from alcoholism. By the 8th grade, 28% of adolescents have consumed alcohol, 15% have smoked cigarettes, and 16.5% have used marijuana (Martin, Sc.D., M.P.H., Laurie, and Alyssa Milot). This means that before high school, more than 25% of children have already consumed alcohol. That is a shocking fact that needs to change going into the future.
Several people simply dont understand the risks of taking drugs or alcohol. One of the biggest changes that needs to happen on this topic is that more people need to be informed. The ignorance that most people have on this topic before entering middle school is surprising. Maybe if more people were knowledgeable on the topic earlier in their lives, then the numbers on people having alcohol in middle school might decrease. Unfortunately the opposite seems to be occurring. In 2009 a study was taken on high school seniors who smoke pot daily. In 2009 it was at about 1.4% of seniors smoked pot daily. Five years later, the numbers had climbed to a whopping 6.5% of high school seniors who smoke pot daily. Within five years the numbers had risen over five percent. That is an average of over 1% per year! Meanwhile, less than 20% of 12th graders think occasional use is harmful, while less than 40% see regular use as harmful (The U.S. Department of Education, The Drug Enforcement Administration). These are the lowest numbers since 1983.
Perhaps if parents start to reinforce the fact that alcohol and drugs are bad in a stricter way children will get the point. Teens who consistently learn about drug risk from their parents are 50% less likely to use drugs than those who dont (Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration). While these numbers arent as high as one can hope, it still supports the fact that parents should enforce this knowledge upon their children. One of the scariest facts on this topic is that about 50% of high school seniors do not think it’s harmful to try crack or cocaine once or twice and 40% believe it’s not harmful to use heroin once or twice (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). Those, are some scary numbers. It is very possible to die from using cocaine once, yet about 50% of high school seniors do not think it is even harmful. That sentence was repeated because a message like that should be able to get through to the public face. It should be repeated ten more times if need be.
So for those who dont know what is so bad about drug use, look into it. It is a topic everyone should be knowledgeable of because it is one of the biggest problems in the world today. Drugs are bad for anyone and everyone, but it is especially bad when children and teens get their hands on it. For a childs body which is still growing to interact with drugs, illegal drugs especially, it can cause health problems that can last for their entire lives. Many illegal drugs can cause damage to the brain, heart, and many other important organs. Cocaine is one illegal drug that is well known for causing heart attacks (kidshealth.org). If someone is taking drugs, it is likely that their grades will drop, they will do worse in sports and other activities. People with drug problems simply do dumb things. They cant think straight and are more likely to cause harm to themselves and those around them.
It is a sad thing to see someone get addicted to drugs and possibly sadder to see someone who wants to stop taking drugs but is having trouble. Someone who tries to stop will experience withdraw symptoms. These symptoms consist of vomiting, sweating, tremors, and many others (kidshealth.org). The goal would be to stop someone from taking drugs before they start. Most people who take drugs are trying to escape from their emotions. Some other are just persuaded by peer pressure, and some just try it because they are bored. This is a problem now and it needs to be stopped now.