Just Say No

Photo from Google

Photo from Google

Tucker Hill, Staff Writer

As the 27th annual “Red Ribbon Week” comes to an end, a lot of students here at AHS have been a little confused seeing the pamphlets about drugs around the school and not hearing anything about it. As the years have gone by, grade by grade, it seems like the importance of drug awareness and prevention has gone down; there’s not a lot of talk about the topic anymore. Teachers and advisors might think that the students and everyone else have heard it enough and would know not to get involved; however, that’s the problem. An estimated forty-six thousands teens are using drugs and drinking alcohol today. It’s a shocking number. Drug awareness and prevention shouldn’t be taken as lightly as it is, especially with high school students that are getting prepared to go out into the real world after graduation.

Studies and surveys taken in high schools in the U.S. have revealed that a large amount of students have tried many different things already. Seventy eight percent of teens have drank alcohol and eighty one percent have said they had the opportunity to use drugs, but only forty two have actually tried them. As students, we have always had assemblies and programs about drug abuse and drug awareness. It’s not just the school’s job to inform and try and get kids away from these things, it’s also the parents’ job. Kids who grow up being informed about drugs and alcohol at a younger age show less of a chance of getting mixed up into the mess later on in life. Early use of drugs and alcohol increase the chances of developing an addiction. Studies show that the brain doesn’t fully develop until age twenty-five. Alcohol consumption and drug use can slow down and even stop this process completely if consumed at younger ages. Kids don’t know the damage that they are doing to themselves. Some say that it’s “just having fun,” or that “it’s just a one time thing,” but they don’t know that they can become addicted after that “one time.” Drugs can change the brain all together. Addiction isn’t the only issue; permanent damage and disabilities can also be a result. All in all, drug and alcohol abuse is a terrible problem.

On the more positive side of drug awareness, there are programs all throughout the nation that help schools and people with drug and alcohol abuse as well as addiction. Programs like Elks and D.A.R.E. have been helping students and teaching people to make the right choice when it comes to drugs and alcohol. These programs have been around for a long time and will continue to teach about the importance of drug awareness. Drug awareness is a very important subject. When it comes to drugs or alcohol, remember to just say no.