Drug abusers risk serious health problems

By Jaelin Engle & Taelor Engle
Feature Editor & Opinion Editor

According to drugabuse.gov, over 50 thousand people die of drug overdose each year. Harmful substances are dangerous and not something to experiment with. They can lead to addiction and pain, both mentally and physically. According to teens.drugabuse.gov, most people start experiment with drugs in their teen years. Science shows that the younger the person is when they start experimenting with drugs the more likely they are to become addicted. For teens, the number one drug use is alcohol, followed by marijuana.

According to teens.drugabuse.gov, the use of marijuana is slowly creeping up, compared to what it was in the past 10 years, because teens see it as less risky than other drugs. Marijuana actually has some serious effects on a growing body compared to a fully grown body. It has a negative impact on growth and development. The short-term effects of marijuana are altered senses, impaired body movement, hallucinations and psychosis. Some long-term effects of marijuana are brain development, impaired memory or thinking and impaired learning functions.

According to therecoveryvillage.com, nearly 200,000 teens who have abused alcohol visit the ER with approximately 4,300 deaths, nearly 3,300 teens try marijuana each day and 44 percent of high school students abuse substances, such as ecstasy and prescription drugs.

When people experiment with drugs, it can lead to addiction. Addiction is a struggle to handle for anybody, including the people surrounding the addict.
Kyle Shipp, a health teacher and girls basketball coach, explained how addiction happens and why it should be avoided.

“Addiction starts with experimentation. I don’t think addicts ever intend to be addicts, so they started somewhere and that starting point is at experimentation and experimentation turns into the desired high and desired high turns into addiction. I would caution people to not experiment with any types of drugs,” Shipp said.

According to americanaddictioncenters.org, when someone abuses a drug of any type they have the potential to become addicted to that drug. Once the person is addicted, the body starts to rely on that drug.

As a growing child or teenager, the effects may be more severe. Teens like to think, “Oh, that will never happen to me” because many think they’re invincible, when that’s nowhere near true.

Jan Fredbeck, an anatomy and AP biology teacher discussed the effects that drugs have on a child’s body.

“Teenage brains are not fully developed in all areas; this affects decision making. Drugs alter brain chemicals and has the effect of over secretion or under secretion brain chemicals,” Fredbeck said.

For anyone who is struggling with drug abuse, please know that there are many people and resources that are available. The school counselors, hospitals, therapist and or rehabilitation centers are always there to help. Here is a number that you can call to get in contact with Valle Vista to get the right treatments and rehab options: (800) 447-1348. For teens who are struggling with drug addiction, call the Recovery Village’s toll-free hotline anytime, (844) 240-7614; the conversation will be completely confidential.

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