Drug Abuse in High Schools

Drug Abuse in High SchoolsDrug abuse has always been an issue within high schools in California and throughout the entire country. Presently, drug abuse has become even more popular among high schoolers than ever before, and the risks are even greater. While the most commonly abused drug in high schools is still marijuana, other drugs, including both synthetic marijuana and prescription medications, are being abused at increasingly higher rates. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Adderall, Vicodin and tranquilizers are the most frequently abused prescription drugs among high school students. In addition, high schoolers are also abusing cough medicine and hallucinogens more than traditional street drugs such as cocaine.

Causes of Drug Abuse in California High Schools

More pharmaceutical drugs than illicit drugs are currently being abused in high schools in California and across the nation. While the rate of illicit drug use has dropped dramatically, there is still a major concern about the prevalence and causes of drug abuse in high schools. Some of the most common causes of drug abuse among high schoolers include the following:

  • Peer pressure – While the kinds of drugs being abused are changing, the primary cause of drug abuse is not. Peer pressure has always been one of the most prevalent causes of drug abuse in high schools, primarily because teenagers are constantly looking to fit in with their peers. Therefore, if everyone else is doing it, they think they should be, too.
  • Money – Even though teenagers don’t typically handle finances, the monetary woes that their families might be facing can produce a great deal of stress and anxiety for them. This constant concern can make it easy for teenagers to turn to drugs to cope with their family’s money problems.
  • Crime – Crime and drug use often go hand-in-hand, and teenagers in high crime areas often abuse drugs at a more frequent rate. For example, high crime areas typically promote risky behavior, as well as street cliques and hustling. As a result, teenagers in these areas become more susceptible to dealing or using drugs after school, as crime and the money it provides themselves and their family can become a lifestyle for them.

Peer pressure is (and will likely always be) the most common cause of drug abuse in high schools. In addition, external factors such as money troubles at home and crime in the neighborhood can create psychological issues for teenagers that eventually cause them to start abusing drugs.

Recognizing Drug Abuse in California Teens

It can be difficult to recognize a drug abuse problem in California teens, especially as they are typically already moody and closed off at this age anyway. However, parents, teachers, friends, and family can all look for symptoms of drug abuse in the teenagers they interact with. These symptoms often include poor hygiene, loss of interests, slipping grades, extreme irritability, and unexplained mood swings. It is critical that teenagers with these symptoms get the help they need immediately to prevent a long-term addiction from developing.

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