Why are drugs so common in California, specifically in Oakland? Drugs are obviously one of the main issues in CA, especially in Oakland because of peer pressure and media glorification.

To begin, the obvious drug issue is a problem in Oakland because of peer pressure affecting minors. An article, “Peer Pressure is Powerful” by The District 69 Family Resources Association, explains “Well, peer pressure is a powerful influence on adolescents” and that “Twenty-five percent of adolescents aged 14-17 have tried drugs” (The District 69 Family Resources Association). Both of these key quotes discuss how this system can impact adolescents, or teenagers, to associate with drugs. When asked about drugs during his childhood, Coach Kareem of Life Academy Middle answered, “My first personal experience with drugs was under a bridge with a group of friends to smoke some weed and we thought we knew what we were doing…pfff” and  “I did it to be cool” (Coach Kareem of Life Academy Middle). When I hear the keywords “group of friends” and “to be cool”, Kareem was influenced by his friends to do drugs which is one of the main influential for doing drugs. Also, the reason for peer pressure is so that they would gain respect from friends or gain popularity. Therefore, adolescents in Oakland are associated with drugs because of peer pressure and is still happening as of today.

Also, drug use in Oakland was influence through what people had seen in media, known as media glorification. An article, “Former Drug Dealers Speakers to Youth, Urges a Different Path” by Scott Johnson quotes, “If you’re from Oakland, you’ve got to know about Felix Mitchell,” and continues “But that’s the problem, people idolize him” (Johnson). Felix Wayne Mitchell Jr. was a drug lord from Oakland that was “idolized” by numerous of people to do drugs through media. This connects to drugs because teenagers who worship Felix follow his lead in order to gain the possible things that he had gain which was condoning drugs in Oakland for power.

Some may argue, drugs isn’t the main issues in Oakland because of media glorification. My cousin, Thomas Mai, was an interviewee replied, “I have been in Oakland all my life, and I think drugs is a big problem in Oakland. The reason why is because it’s bad for the community. If you’ve seen people who do drugs like I have then you know how negatively it affects people, physically and mentally” (Mai). Even though he never mentioned anything about media glorification. However, he did elaborate on why drugs is an issue in Oakland. In the end, drugs can be associated with youth through media which makes it a targeted issued in Oakland.

Overall, drugs can target youth in many ways like peer pressure and media glorification, and in order to prevent this continuation, the adolescent should go to a prevention center to understand more about drugs and the major effects that can impact us.

Citations:

http://d69fra.org/family-life-articles/190-peer-pressure-is-powerful

http://www.mercurynews.com/2011/08/26/former-drug-dealer-speaks-to-youth-urges-a-different-path/

Image Credit: www.vaping360.com

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CC BY-SA 4.0 How Can Others and Glorification Affect Teens to Do Drugs? by Alexander is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

6 Comments
  1. Maria 10 months ago

    Hey Alexander,

    Your post was very interesting to read, especially because you focused within your home town. For the most part, I think drugs are an issue everywhere, and peer pressure is one of the biggest influences teens face when it comes to it. Just how your interview said, “I did it to be cool,” I feel like this is the common situation most adolescents face. The sad part of being cool in the moment is that later on people get drug addictions, and they don’t know how to quit. In regards to your hometown in Oakland, I actually had no idea there was a drug lord named Felix Mitchell. When I think of the reasons why he might be idolized by teens I think in reality they idolize the respect he had from everyone, and all the money he gained. Overall, I have to agree with your cousin that drug glorification through the media is not the reason why their is such a huge issue in Oakland involving drugs. The atmosphere is what needs to be changed within the communities. Having reaching out programs that help parents speak to their teens about the health issues that come with drugs, and the consequences they could face with the law if they get caught doing them would be a great way to educate these young people. I remember as a child having assemblies that happened for a week about being drug free, but the sad part is within my community it didn’t work. People I went to kindergarten with are now lost in the streets doing nothing with their lives because of the drugs addictions they face. From my perspective I think parents need to be educated on how to discuss these issues with their teens. What would you recommend your community to do to decrease the drug issues Oakland is now facing?

  2. Natalie 11 months ago

    Dear Alexander,
    The topic you chose to write about is a very powerful subject. I agree with you, on the other hand, drug use is not just in Oakland but i like how you just decided to write about a place you know best. I’d like to know more, as to “why”… why should kids feel influenced? It would be interesting to keep talking to your coach, try to dig deeper as to what happened after. Was it worth it? If he could go back would he change something? I would like to understand, or put in your perspective. What if someone asked you? Now that you are more educated what would you have done?

  3. MIchelle 11 months ago

    Dear Alexander,

    I am intrigued with your post, “How Can Others and Glorification Affect Teens to Do Drugs?”, because you described the process of getting into it very well. you gave perspective from different sources and that helped me visualize the article.

    Some sentences you wrote that stood out to me are, “When I hear the keywords “group of friends” and “to be cool”, Kareem was influenced by his friends to do drugs which is one of the main influential for doing drugs. Also, the reason for peer pressure is so that they would gain respect from friends or gain popularity. Therefore, adolescents in Oakland are associated with drugs because of peer pressure and is still happening as of today.” These sentences stood out to me because it is unfortunately very true.

    Another sentence that stood out to me is,”If you’ve seen people who do drugs like I have then you know how negatively it affects people, physically and mentally.” It’s well written and I like that you used quotes from an interview. But, I think you should add more evidence to this and elaborate because another reader might not know what you’re talking about.

    I fully agree with you that peer pressure is a major factor in teens who do drugs. One reason I say this is because I’ve seen stories on social media and at school about this topic. It’s a sad reality when so many teens are doing drugs because of peer pressure and their surroundings.

    Thanks for your writing, I look forward to seeing what you write next. Your writing is very clear and expressive and I enjoyed reading your post.

    Best,
    Michelle

    • Author
      Alexander 10 months ago

      Dear Michelle

      Thank you for commenting on my blog. I love your kind and heart-warming response on my post.

  4. Angel 11 months ago

    What is this all about? I haven’t read it I just want a short summary

    • Author
      Alexander 10 months ago

      Dear Angel,

      Thank you for commenting a simple, but sincere response. It would’ve been considerate to read the entire article, and also giving me an academic response to help me improve my academic skills. This article is about how drugs associate with peer pressure and media glorification, mainly in Oakland, CA.

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