Hooked: Rampant Drug Use in the Public School System

Drug use in schools has been a growing problem in the United States for many years. Every year, learning is disrupted by the use of substances during school hours.

According to the National Center of Addiction and Substance Abuse, around 17% of high school students use drugs or obtain alcohol during school hours. The National Center of Addiction and Substance Abuse conducts a back to school survey annually that is given to students ages 12 to 17.

Marijuana use is widespread among high school students. Image from: harvestoftempe.com

The results of this year’s survey have shown that 86% of students are aware of friends and classmates who misuse controlled substances during school hours. 44% of surveyed students stated that they are aware that their classmates are providing drugs to other students like marijuana, ecstasy, and cocaine.  

Many high school students use or have tried Marijuana, but many others participate in other drug use such as Synthetic Marijuana, Ecstasy, Hallucinogens and Cocaine. So how do does this make you feel? How do you feel about your peers and friends partaking in drug use at school?

High school Senior Sonja Hedstrom stated, “It is very sad that the number of kids drugs at schools is increasing and not decreasing. It is sad that kids are so young and choosing to do such damaging drugs. That fact they my friends and peers are choosing to do drugs on campus is damaging and extremely sad.”

On January 16th, 2014, three students at Century High, Oregon, overdosed on prescription pills at school. All three students were taken away on stretchers, and it was a shocking event for all students at the high school.

The amount of students who partake in “pill popping”, has reached an all time high in 2014 and 2015. The question you need to ask yourself is, “Is it worth it?”.

There are a large number of students across the country who abuse prescription drugs. The National Institute of Health has an estimate that over 2,000 students a day abuse prescription drugs at school.

This is both damaging to the development of young brains and the ability learn and function in a school environment. Doing drugs at school has proven to cause hostile and dangerous situations. Recently, the use of drugs at school has effecting us directly here at San Lorenzo Valley High School.

Many privileges have been taken away from students and many changes have been made regarding the parking lot due to drug use being prevalent on our campus. An anonymous student at San Lorenzo Valley High School stated, “ It is very frustrating that everybody is getting their parking lot privileges taken away due to a select few people participating in drug use. It is so sad that people are doing drugs in the first place at school. School is for learning.”


-Alissa Saylor and Megan Marro

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