Drug Abuse in High Schools

Drug Abuse in High SchoolsAccording to the National Institute of Health (NIH), drug abuse is a serious health problem that affects almost every community or family in some way. NIH research shows that drug abuse causes millions of illnesses and injuries across the country every year. Drug abuse may cause social problems, violence, stress, crime, homelessness, loss of work, and death. Drug abuse is found in many places across the country, including high schools.

A common American high school holds students between the ages of fourteen to eighteen. High school populations may range from a small number of students to over 8000. Having this many teenagers in one place can cause peer pressure or community issues that can lead to drug abuse or addiction.

Drugs in High Schools

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) conducts a survey every year that determines the use of drugs among teenagers in US high schools. In 2012, NIDA found that nearly 48 percent of students use or abuse prescription or illicit drugs throughout the school year. Statistics of use rise as students move from ninth grade to twelfth grade.

There are many drugs that are used or abused in high schools. Most are used based on their availability or cost. NIDA lists the following drugs as the most common to be found in high schools:

  • Marijuana
  • Adderall
  • Cough medicine
  • Vicodin
  • OxyContin
  • Inhalants
  • Ritalin
  • Cocaine

While these are not the only drugs found in high schools, these are the most popular because of their prevalence in individual households. Marijuana is relatively cheap and is easily located in most American cities. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medications, such as Adderall and Ritalin, are prescribed to many students and are often abused.

Influences in High Schools

The influences of peer groups and outside factors, such as socioeconomic levels of the population and high or low crime rates, may affect drug abuse. Peer groups may attempt to influence members through peer pressure and the idea that the group is doing it so everyone should.

Low socioeconomic status may also be an indicator of drug abuse. Research from NIDA shows that drug abuse statistics are high among lower economic classes. Students from lower income families heavily populate many of the larger schools.

Regardless of the reasons behind drug abuse, it is a serious problem among students in US high schools. Finding yourself in a situation where drug abuse is very common may be difficult. Being strong and learning where help is available can assist you in resisting peer pressure to begin taking drugs or treating whatever drug abuse is already present.

Drug Abuse Help

If you or someone you love is dealing with drug abuse or addiction, there is help available. Please call our toll-free helpline to speak with an admissions coordinator who can help connect you with the treatment options and resources that can help you. You are not alone in the fight against drug abuse. Our helpline is open 24 hours a day; please call now.

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