“Yeah, I usually smoke pot before school,” says Daniel, a high-school senior. “It makes the day go by faster.”
It seems Daniel is not alone. The 17th annual survey by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) has found that an estimated 17% of students drink, smoke, and use drugs during the school day. Based on the survey results, 80% of high school students have seen drugs used or sold in school or witnessed other students that were high or drunk. Nearly half of all students knew someone who could sell them drugs- the most common drugs sold were marijuana and prescription pills.
Social media sites may be partially to blame for the popularity of drugs and alcohol on school campuses. 75% of respondents said that they were encouraged to try drugs or alcohol after seeing peers post about it on social media.
Drug Abuse at Schools – Study Drugs
Drug abuse at schools is no longer limited to the so called “stoners and slackers”. More and more of the so-called “model students” are partaking in drug abuse at school. Students today are under much more pressure to take on numerous hobbies, join clubs, and excel in school. As pressure to first get into college and then to do well rises, many students have turned to prescription “study drugs”.
The United States has seen a surge in the legal supply and use of amphetamine- type attention deficit medications, such as Ritalin and Adderall. Doctors are diagnosing patients with ADHD with increasing frequency, and the number of prescriptions of these types of medications has risen dramatically. With more individuals having access to these types of medications, diversion becomes more common. The sale of ADHD medications between students has become a widespread problem on high school and college campuses throughout the US. Experts estimate that over a third of college students have used ADHD medications without a prescription.
Most students don’t see any problem with using these study drugs to enhance performance. In a recent survey, students at one university said that they considered study drugs only slightly more dangerous than caffeine, and much less dangerous than drinking alcohol and studying.
Drug Abuse at Schools – Parental Responsibility
The study found that teens with parents who had a lax attitude about alcohol and drugs were far more likely to engage in drug abuse at schools. Parents also believed that if their child attended a private school, they were “safe” from drug abuse at school. Unfortunately, the study found that, for the first time in the survey’s history, a majority of private school students reported drugs on campus. In 2011, only 36% of private school students said people at school were using or selling drugs during the school day. In 2012, that number jumped to 54%.
Parents should not only be aware of drug abuse at schools, but they should be proactive in educating their children about the dangers of drug abuse. Most parents who completed the survey typically were unaware of the prevalence of drugs and alcohol at their children’s schools, or they felt powerless to do anything about it.
Parents usually have the strongest influence over their children and can mold their view on drugs. Reach out to school officials and get involved with their drug abuse programs. If there isn’t one then rally up other parents and demand a program be instilled.
If you or a loved one is in need of drug or alcohol addiction treatment please give us a call at 800-951-6135.
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