It is amazing how fast things can change; how pure innocence can turn to arrogance and adventurism. It seems up until your first year in high school, you feel safe from anything. You are preoccupied with life as how you knew it from the start, when in school you’re intrigued to hear rumors in junior high, they’re usually about who likes who, and who broke up with who. It just seems so naive. But when you stepped into high school, it becomes an entirely different ballgame. Somehow you seem to have been stripped of all your innocence. Suddenly you become vulnerable to the evils that you knew nothing about before. It seems the only thing people talk about is either sex or drug use. We all know of so many personalities who have so much potential to do great things in life, but threw it all away when they started to use drugs.
This is the daunting scenario that we have today. We are aware of it, the government is aware of it, law enforcers are aware of it but still the nagging problem persists and threatens the fragile future of our youth today. Numbers don’t lie. Nearly half of all high school seniors in America have experimented with illegal drugs and about three quarters have tried alcohol. A study conducted on the drug use prevalence among high school seniors in the US revealed the following: 41.8% have tried marijuana and at least 5% uses it everyday; 7.8% have used cocaine; 1.5% have tried heroin; 72.2% have used alcohol and 3.1% take alcohol daily; 6.5% have tried ecstasy; 8.4% have tried using hallucinogens (LSD, Magic Mushrooms, Peyote); and at least 15.4% have reported having used prescription drugs (vicodin, oxycontin etc.) to get high. These are alarming statistics but equally disturbing is how easily high school students can get hold of these prohibited drugs. The dilemma that we have today is worse than what our parents had to deal with; and at the rate things are going it is quite likely that by the time you have kids, the situation will be ten times worse than what it is today. The problem should be addressed now with more stringent measures and from different fronts. It should be a collective and conscious effort from the government, school administrations and more importantly the parents. Parents should be educated about the dangers facing their teens today because they are for real and are likely to stay if nothing is done to stem the problem. The government should make laws with much more teeth in them so as to deter drug dealers and manufacturers who are selling these substances like pancakes. Schools must have more effective screening and monitoring systems to keep drugs away from their vicinity and thus give their students a good shot for a productive college life. Illicit drugs seem to fall in and out of favor with experimental youths. But one thing is constant, more and more teens are experimenting with it. The perils are great and more threatening than ever, but studies consistently show that teens whose parents talk to them about drugs are at a much lower risk to experiment.