81% of teens claimed to have the opportunity to take illicit drugs, 42.5% actually tried them. Drugs are a big problem among today’s youth. And the way we are attempting to solve this problem is obviously not working. After doing a bit of research, one can determine why teens take drugs and that the best way to prevent drug use is to educate them and take a community approach.


Why Do Teens Take Drugs?


The main reasons teens take drugs is usually because of peer pressure, they use them as an outlet, or want to improve athletically/academically. They’re going through a phase in life where they are extremely emotional, easily influenced, and have the need to fit in.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse had stated, “Abused drugs interact with the neurochemistry of the brain to produce feelings of pleasure. The intensity of this euphoria differs by the type of drug and how it is used” (NIDA). Many teens suffer from depression, anxiety, stress-related disorders, and physical pain. The need to experience a “good feeling” is extremely high and drugs can give that to them in minutes. They start trying stronger, deadlier drugs and quickly become addicts. Furthermore, teens who lack social skills and want to fit in might try drugs without even knowing the consequences. The good feeling and increase in attention they receive from their peers results in the continuous use/abuse of drugs, both illegal and prescription.

Additionally, as stated by the Mayo Clinic Staff, “Some teens experiment with performance-enhancing drugs as a way to cope with… insecurities… Others might be influenced by pressure to make a team or get a competitive edge” (M.C. Staff). Society has labeled excess weight as a bad thing and many teens try to quickly get rid of “excess weight” and “be attractive” in the eyes of society. Other teens are pressured by family and peers to do well in either sports, academics, or both and will turn to drugs to improve their performance or release stress.


Preventing Drug Abuse Among Teens


Usually, when minors are caught with drugs their parents receive a fine or the teen is sent to juvenile hall. However, after doing some research and interviewing people in the community, one can conclude that educating teens on drugs and taking a community approach would prevent drug use among minors.

Kareem, an after school coach who works with youth and has experience with drugs, was asked the question “What do you think needs to be done to prevent youth from using/dealing drugs?”. He responded with, “More awareness programs, seminars, just more awareness. We need to educate our people on drugs and the effect it has on our community” (Kareem). Many teens take drugs without even knowing the consequences. Not only do they hurt themselves, but the people around them. If we educate our youth and inform them about the risks of drug use, they will think twice about abusing drugs. The temporary pleasure they experience isn’t worth the after effects of taking the drug. The more aware they are, the less likely teens are going to take drugs and potentially ruin their future.

Moreover, a representative of the Chrysalis Drug and Alcohol Rehab Center stated, “Education is the best tool… the more education a person has, the better choices they make” (Chrysalis). Educating youth instead of keeping them in the dark and trying to control their choices is the best option. Many parents try to keep children in the dark about subjects like drugs and sex. But teens find out either because of school or the internet. It’s better to educate the children and teach them about the consequences of drugs instead of them learning about it from friends and trying drugs to fit in or “be cool”.


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May 13, 2019 3:21 pm

Dear Alexa,
I think this is an important post because it talks about a very common issue.
i know people my age who have been hospitalize because of drug abuse.

Reply to  Alba
May 13, 2019 3:23 pm

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February 13, 2017 5:02 pm

Hey Alexa,

You have a great amount of information in regards to teens drug abuse. Ive always thought peer pressure was one of the greatest influences of why this issue has got so out of hand, but your point of wanting to be fit and accepted with society really caught my attention. With the ridiculous standards of body images the media portrays consequently does get to youths self esteem; I think even with adults this continues to be an issue. More so, education of the negative effects of drug abuse is a great way to start decreasing the use of it. Although, I think teaching parents how to speak to their children about it is a greater affect of it. When parents become educated it gives them more power to be more open while creating a closer relationship with their children. Parents are the greatest influences for their children, and I think thats something they tend to forget.

February 12, 2017 10:53 pm

Hi Alexa!

I feel like your article was very informative and the quote in the beginning instantly drew my attention to continue reading. I was definitely surprised with the statistic that “81% of teens claimed to have the opportunity to take illicit drugs, 42.5% actually tried them.” It is apparent that drugs are becoming a common thing in society and I do agree that teens need to be more educated on the topic especially the toll it can take in their life. I feel like you did a good job on your interviews because it helped support your article and gain a different perspective from the community. I believe it is important for teens to understand that being yourself is cool and should be the only thing that matters. I can’t wait to read your next article!

February 2, 2017 10:27 pm

Dear Alexa,
Your post reminds me of something that happened to me. One time when I used to do a drug called marijuana I did it because of my friends kept telling me once I the blunt I won’t be feeling stressed out, and they told me I would be cool if I smoke with them. After that it was more of a habit it was something I would do everyday just to feeling good about myself, I only did because of peer pressure if they would have never convinced me to start smoking I would have never hit the blunt. Now I don’t smoke because I found out that there are better ways to relieve stress.

January 27, 2017 6:00 am

Dear Alexa,

I am taken away by your post, “Teen Drug Abuse: Prevent It,” because of how direct and honest you have written on the topic of drugs among teens. Your post contains strong reasons that can inform those of whom still don’t understand why youth would give in to drugs. One sentence that stood out to me was when you were talking about the many influences a teen can have that will provoke them to use drugs. You had stated, “Other teens are pressured by family and peers to do well in either sports, academics, or both and will turn to drugs to improve their performance or release stress.” This sentence stood out to me because I agree that teens are often pressured by their peers and family in order to feel accepted. Your post reminds me a lot of one of my godbrothers who had passed away due to possible drug possession. He was often stressed out about things and had a temper every now and then. He wasn’t really a teen when he started, by he was really young when he first had an encounter with drugs.
Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you will be writing next because I feel like you have the capability to expand and incorporate your thinking on other topics that have an impact on our society.

January 26, 2017 8:26 pm

Dear Alexa,
I agree with your post. I agree a lot with what you were saying why kids do drugs and the affect it has on them. I like your post because it gets straight to the point and it is also very interesting to read. I especially like the part where you talk about why teens use drugs because I think you have a point about school and drugs where a lot of teens spend their time. One sentence you wrote that stood out to me was, ¨Society has labeled excess weight as a bad thing and many teens try to quickly get rid of ¨excess weight¨ and ¨be attractive¨ in the eyes of society.¨ This sentence stood out to me because I think it refers to a lot of people around me and at my school. I think it mostly refers to the girls because they try to look skinny because ẗhat is what is ¨cute¨ but I agree with you and what you are saying.

Ava Osborn
January 26, 2017 8:15 pm

Dear Alexa,
I am agree with your post, “Teen Drug Abuse: Prevent It” because it gets to the root cause of drugs. I like how you go into explicit detail about why some teenagers choose this lifestyle. I also enjoy how you incorporated evidence into the text to support your argument.

One excerpt that particularly stuck out to me was, “Educating youth instead of keeping them in the dark,” because I felt like it exemplifies why drugs are so popular among teens. It goes to show that we need to face the issue and address it, not just push it aside and be afraid.

Thank you for writing because it has brought me different aspects to the issues.
-Ava Osborn

January 26, 2017 4:56 pm

Dear Alexa,
I am happy with your post,“Teen Drug Abuse: Prevent it” because it was pretty straight to the point. It had just the right amount of background information while not taking over the topic. One sentence that stands out for me is when Kareem said that “we need to educate our people on drugs and the effect it has on our community”. I extremely agree with Kareem. I think that we need to not only need to educate our people but offer free programs and rehabilitation services. And also we need to let people know what they are really putting in their bodies. Do people really know that what they see as one drug can be something totally different. It’s just dangerous. Another sentence that I noticed was “Many parents try to keep children in the dark about subjects like drugs and sex.” But teens find out either because of school or the internet.” This stood out to me because personally my family is very open about these kind of subjects but I think if more people talked and opened up about these kind of things that


January 25, 2017 7:18 pm

Dear Alexa,
I am excited about your post, “Teen Drug Abuse: Prevent it” because I really love how you showed evidence on why this is bad for teenagers. I do agree on this is bad on teens because since we’re teenagers this help us to know that drugs aren’t good to use.

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