One in 10 Students Use Drugs in Middle School

Audrey Johnson and Ava Doyle

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“In America 11.7% of 8th grade students have used marijuana.” Stated that is roughly 1 in 10 students! Middle school drug usage is real and needs to be taken seriously, Mr. Player, the Landrum Middle School principal, agrees. However, some students don’t. They believe that drug usage is a personal choice and they wish to make that choice without interference from teachers and parents.

According to “those who do engage in drugs use and underage drinking are headed down a dangerous path.” states “Drugs can have immediate and long-lasting effects on your physical health, mental and emotional well-being, your relationships and future goals” Drug usage could possibly lead you to do things that you would not normally do. This could result in physical injury, even death. You could also end up with emotional damage from your actions while under the influence of drugs. Students don’t realize how dangerous drugs are and how damaging they are to their bodies.

According to “A new study shows that by the time most teens reach late adolescence, the majority of them have drank alcohol and abused illicit substances.” Both students and teachers agree that drugs are very easily accessed. This ease of access means that lots of students could be exposed to drugs at an early age when they are easily influenced by their peers and are most likely to follow the crowd than take a stance against them. One of the most dangerous parts of using illegal drugs is that the younger the user, the more immature the brain. This makes it so much easier for the brain to become addicted to the drug. states “The human brain is still developing well into a person’s early 20’s” Drug abuse during adolescence can severely hinder this development, including brain growth, memory, learning, and judgement.

Drugs and alcohol use can affect your relationship now and into the future. Conflict and breakdown in relationship become more common.

Your focus and learning are also negatively affected. Your concentration in class and your grades suffer, all because of poorly thought out decisions and actions.

Drug usage costs money.  Many users steal from there family or friends to fund their habit. Many also turn to crime to get the money they need. In New Jersey a 14-year old girl was caught using drugs and selling them. She ended up in court. This is just one of many examples of teenagers going to court or even jail because of drug use. Even though we are still young middle school students, any drug abuse records can be seen by college professors and managers of companies. So even if you are young, you need to make sure you are thinking through every decision you make about drugs, alcohol or even the people you are friends with. On a positive note, in St. Johns county 80% of middle school students aren’t using alcohol and 88% have not used marijuana. Hopefully in the future these numbers will be on the rise. Mr. player expresses that drug usage is extremely harmful and he hopes that in the future all middle schools, not just those in St. Johns county but all over the country, will be completely drug free. The only way of achieving this goal is EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION. Just remember life is a journey, travel drug free.