After the allegations about Leesville’s student drug use, the Mycenaean felt obligated to explore the truth about teenage drug use.
Yes, drugs are a problem for the youth of America, but according to the arrest trends the number of juvenile arrests are actually decreasing. In 2016, 314 kids were arrested, 2017, 264, and so far in 2018, 66 juveniles (see chart below). Either this means kids are getting better at hiding or smarter at saying “no.”
I chose to be more optimistic.
In order to ensure all information is accurate, I have been in contact with Major C.S. Carrigan, a police officer and part of the detective division of the Raleigh police department. One of the major questions brought to light was the trend of teenage drug use.
Since the legalization of marijuana in some states, marijuana use has definitely increased in the United States. Although it hasn’t affected arrest rates here in North Carolina, “It has led to more potent forms of marijuana being sold. In addition, the legalization is cutting into Cartel drug profits which some believe has led to them switching production to heroin instead,” said Major Carrigan via email.
What’s becoming the concern now is opioids and more chemical-based drug use. “While historically parents, teachers, and law enforcement have had to deal with high school age teens experimenting with drugs we are now in a situation where this experimentation is putting teens at risk of overdose death beyond what teens of prior generations faced,” wrote Major Carrigan.
Opioids are highly addictive drugs. The most common illegal source is heroine. Most teenagers are receiving their opioid fix from prescription drugs. Opioids react with opioid receptors in the brain and nervous system creating a feeling of euphoria that washes over the body. This reaction nurtures addiction.
Once the prescription runs out, teenagers turn to heroin and other opioid drugs. Currently, dealers are creating and selling counterfeit pills containing fentanyl– an opioid. “Teens are putting themselves at great risk of becoming addicted to opioids, often times taking a substance that they do not know they are taking. This addiction can then lead to Overdose death…” according to Major Carrigan.
“My opinion on the drug problem is that any high that a student might be seeking is not worth the risk that comes from taking drugs. Opioids are killing people every day and ruining the lives of many more who become addicted.” Drugs don’t have to be a problem. Be aware of what you are taking, do not take any unwrapped candy, and stay safe. It’s just common sense.