Teen Drug Use Is Not As Bad As It Seems


At school, all you hear about is how it always smells like weed in that classroom or in the hallway. But, surprisingly, teen drug use doesn’t cover as big a population as it’s made out to. In fact, less teens are abusing drugs.

This could be due to those commercials about how drugs control you or maybe more parents are educating their kids about the dangers of drugs.

At least for prescription opioids, this decline is due to how they are harder to obtain. According to www.drugabuse.gov, one in three 12th graders (32.5 percent) said that prescription opioids were easily available in the 2018 survey, compared to the 54.2 percent in 2010 that thought they were easy to get.

It’s not just prescription opioids that are being abused less. Alcohol use and binge drinking show a significant decline. Daily, past-month, past-year, and lifetime marijuana use declined among 8th graders and remains unchanged among 10th and 12th graders. Past-year use of illicit drugs other than marijuana are holding steady at the lowest levels in over two decades. And the use of traditional cigarettes remains at the lowest levels since 1975, according to www.drugabuse.gov.

However, 17.6 percent of 8th graders, 32.3 percent of 10th graders, and 37.3 percent of 12th graders reported vaping in the 2018 Monitoring the Future’s survey. This could be due to how “more 8th and 10th graders reported that vaping devices and e-liquids containing nicotine are easy or very easy to obtain in 2018 than in 2017,” www.drugabuse.gov said.

The population that does use drugs is vocal enough to fill the silence that those who don’t leave. That and the excessive advertising and constant badgering from my mom have led me to believe that it was a bigger problem. It made me expect many more teens doing drugs and that it would be too easy for me to meet someone who would peer pressure me into doing it too.

I haven’t met anyone who’s like that, but that could just be because I have my friend group that I don’t stray from. But you do you, whether that means using or hanging with people who do. Express yourself, but don’t pull unwilling people into your addictive ways. Let’s keep teen drug abuse on the decline.