The number of teens abusing drugs everyday has only continued to increase in recent years, to what some may even call crisis proportions. According to the CDC, “by 12th grade, approximately two thirds of students have tried alcohol” and “about half of 9th through 12th grade students reported ever having used marijuana.” With the rise of drugs that appeal directly to teens like vapes(which are convenient to use), more adolescents than ever before have been encouraged to take part in these dangerous activities, which have many adverse effects.
Teen drug abuse is a huge problem, primarily because the drugs that teens use can be hazardous to brain development. The human brain does much development during the adolescent years, making every decision of an adolescent crucial. When teens put substances in their bodies, they can experience a number of problems, such as memory issues, unhealthy habit-forming, and declines in perceptual ability. Worst of all, taking these drugs at such an early age only increases the chances of teenage substance reliance as an adolescent or adult, as their brains begin to crave the drugs obsessively and become more accustomed to receiving them.
Incorrect substance usage can also lead teens to engage in a variety of other high risk behaviors. Because many drugs have adverse effects on the brain and a person’s overall decision making, those that take such substances will be likely to make reckless decisions. A decision to drink at a party may lead to other dangerous behaviors, such as driving while drunk, unprotected sex, and even further substance abuse. Taking drugs only encourages teens to engage in behaviors without properly considering the consequences, often resulting in more detrimental decisions and activities.
Most importantly, teens need to remember the lasting impacts and consequences of improper substance use. For an athlete caught using a drug, it could mean a suspension or even removal from the sports team. In most cases, a student will be subject to immediate disciplinary action if involved with drugs or alcohol. Not to mention when caught doing illegal activities at a party, a teen could even face legal action, and the consequences could follow them for the rest of their lives. While it can often be tempting to want to experiment with substances as an adolescent, teens should take this basic warning: don’t do it; it just isn’t worth it.