Preventing Drug Abuse in Schools
Article written by Chloe Nicosia
Being addicted to drugs is dangerous, and because of that, parents and other adults talk a lot about drug prevention. Drug prevention is a way of making people understand how dangerous drugs are so that they are not tempted to try them. While it might seem easy to stay away from drugs, there are times when it may seem hard to do, especially at school. For instance, if people at school are taking drugs or talking about them, their friends might feel left out or uncool if they refuse to try drugs with them. A lot of times, peer pressure like this is why children and teens first start taking drugs. Understanding the risks of both legal and illegal drug abuse and addiction is the first step toward keeping drugs away from schools, which is why drug awareness programs are often the best form of drug prevention.
There are two different types of drugs: legal drugs and illegal drugs. Legal drugs are medications such as cold medicine or ibuprofen that adults buy to use when someone is sick. Other legal drugs are medications that come from a prescription that is written by a doctor. These medications can be helpful for people who are sick, but they can hurt people who do not need them. Legal drugs should only be taken when a trusted adult (such as a parent or school nurse) gives them to make sure that it is the right medication and that the correct amount is taken. Unfortunately, though, there are a lot of people who take legal drugs given by a doctor when they don’t need to. This is because they are easy to get and some people think that they are safer to take than illegal drugs. This is not true. Legal drugs prescribed for someone else or taken in higher doses than recommended by a doctor are very dangerous and can cause serious damage to the body or even death. If you see someone with legal drugs in school, you should tell a teacher immediately; any medication that kids actually need should be kept at the nurse’s office.
Illegal drugs are ones that cannot be found in a store and are never given by a doctor. They are always unsafe, even when taken in small amounts. There are many different types of illegal drugs, including popular ones such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin. These drugs can be smoked, snorted, taken like a pill, or even injected with a needle. These drugs are illegal, and if a person is caught with them, they can be sent to jail, even if they didn’t actually use any of the drugs. Since these drugs are dangerous and illegal, tell an adult right away if someone offers you any of them.
When a person takes legal or illegal drugs that they are not supposed to take, they cannot function normally. They become “high” on the drug, and during the high, they often act strangely and can become dangerous to themselves or others. Some people like the feeling of being high because it allows them to escape the problems that they face in their real lives. They may only plan to use drugs once or twice, but their mind and body eventually become addicted to the drugs. Because they are addicted to the drugs and the way that they make them feel, they have a hard time if they try to stop taking them. People addicted to drugs act differently than they did before they were addicted and may need help from a professional to stop. If a person does not stop using drugs, they may take too much of the drug, which can cause them to be hospitalized or even to die. Other times, people who are addicted to drugs are sent to prison for things that they do while they are taking drugs. If they were not high on drugs, they probably would not be doing these illegal things.
The addiction to drugs is hard to stop once it starts. Even when people recover from their addictions, it is a battle that they keep fighting every day. Drug abuse harms bodies, but it also ruins lives. Drugs can push away families, friends, careers, college scholarships, and so much more. Understanding the risks associated with drug use and drug addiction makes it a lot easier to say no to drugs, although peer pressure at school is still one of the biggest challenges that children and teens face. To practice drug prevention at school, inform others about the dangers of drugs, always say no to drugs, and stay in the company of others who feel the same way. Finally, always report any information about drug abuse you see to a parent or teacher. It may seem uncool to tell on friends, but it may just save someone’s life.
To learn more about drugs and drug abuse, check out these games and pages:
- Pure Rush: Drug Education Game
- How to Help Teens Avoid Drugs
- Your Brain on Drugs (PDF)
- How to Help Someone Stop Smoking Weed
- What You Need to Know About Drugs: For Kids
- Easy-to-Read Drug Facts
- Drug Abuse: Getting it Straight
- How Do You Help a Friend on Drugs?
- The Facts About Drugs: Student Guide (PDF)
- Alcohol and Drug Facts
- Above the Influence: Drug Facts
- The Truth About Drugs