Saturday October 1st 2016

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Teen drug use in school

Are you a parent who is worried about their teenager? Here, we explore the worrying trend of drug use during the school day and what you can do about it. Then, we invite your questions, ideas, or comments about teens and adolescent drug abuse in school at the end.

Drugs at school

Adolescence is the time to gain independence, figure out who you are and enjoy life. But what happens when your teen turns from a normal teenage life to drug use? Your first instinct may be to prevent him from going to a friend’s house or hanging out somewhere unsupervised to keep your teen away from drugs. However, you might be surprised that a lot of teen drug use and abuse happens at school. Teen drug use in school is a continuous problem that will take more than just one solution.

How many teens are using drugs? Studies show that nearly 3 million teens are using drugs during the school day and the majority of teens report that they know which of their peers is selling drugs. The most common drugs abused by teens are marijuana, alcohol and prescription medications the most, but other illegal drugs are all too common, especially at school during the day. Most students report that they know someone who either sells drugs or has access to some alcohol.

There are several reasons why teens may take drugs at school. These can include:

  • curiosity
  • peer pressure
  • pleasure
  • rebellion
  • self-medication

Can’t the schools do something?

Of course, the schools have rules in place about drug use and abuse at school. However, having a policy doesn’t mean that there are enough resources to monitor every student all day. Teachers and faculty have a lot to do on a very limited time and budget, and they simply don’t have the manpower to monitor this activity full time, trying to catch the perpetrators.

Many schools try to solve the problem by creating drug contracts for teens, student/faculty groups, clubs and more to monitor and provide alternatives to teens at school and create a zero tolerance place to learn. Parental involvement at the school can really help to make a big difference when it comes to teen drug use in school.

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Education leads to avoidance

When it comes to keeping your teen safe from drugs at school, the answer is education about drugs and the harmful effects they can have on the body. Teens will probably experiment with drugs and alcohol, but some will fall into the trap of drug abuse and suffer those consequences.  So, before you need to drug test a teen, you can educate them about the dangers and health issues caused by drug use, your teen will be more likely to avoid drugs, especially at school.

Teens have a hard time looking at long-term consequences and they often feel invincible. But the risks of illness, injury, bad judgment, addiction, and even death from drugs is too great to ignore. Teens need to be educated about drug use and taught to avoid it, even at school. It’s important that you do everything you can, starting right now and not stopping until your teen has graduated, to communicate with your teen about alcohol and drugs, highlighting¬† the dangers they bring into your teen’s life. Hopefully this way, your teen can avoid drugs at school and steer clear of the devastation they can create.

Some basic principles include:

  1. Set clear limits regarding drug use, with a set of pre-determined consequences.
  2. Create a family policy where you agree to pick up your child at ANY time, place, or situation…and wait until the following day to discuss consequences.
  3. Get educated on drug effects to the brain and body, and prepare for signs of problems.
  4. Be committed to open, non-judgmental communication.
  5. Support healthy habits by encouraging sports, activities, or recreation.

Drugs in school questions

Do you still have questions about teen drug use at school? Please leave your questions in the comments section below. We do our best to respond to all legitimate questions with a personal and prompt reply.

Photo credit: Neil Ta

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About Tyler Jacobson

Tyler is a freelance writer/journalist, with past experience as the head content writer and outreach coordinator for HelpYourTeenNow. His areas of focus include: parenting, education, social media, addiction, and issues facing teenagers today.

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