Teenage Drug Abuse Essay Research Paper One

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Teenage Drug Abuse Essay, Research Paper One of the largest problems in society today is teenage drug abuse. After a dramatic drop in the use of illicit drugs among teens throughout the 80 s, once again teen drug use is on the rise at a dangerous rate and shows no signs of slowing down. In 1979 more than 16 percent of children between the ages of 12-17, used drugs according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. Under the banner of the Just Say No slogan, Presidents Reagan and Bush helped drive this number down to a low of 5.3 percent in 1992, but it has crept back up to 10 percent today ( Drug Use Back Up for Youth, 1). From 1991 to 1994 eighth graders who said they had used marijuana in the previous year doubled to 13 percent. In the same time region, marijuana use

increased 66 percent among 10th graders as well as a 44 percent increase among 12th graders. Marijuana has by far, been the most popular drug used by teens as well as all Americans in the past decade. However, there is a new generation of drugs that is just beginning to effect the nations youth. Ecstasy, or MDMA, belongs to a family of drugs called entactogens, which literally means touching within. It creates a sense of euphoria for the user and enhances feelings of empathy, emotional warmth, and self acceptance. Besides extreme liver and brain damage, the effects of ecstasy are yet to be discovered since the drug is so new. Recently, a new mock ecstasy pill has been circulating which creates the same euphoric feelings of real MDMA but is much cheaper to manufacture. These pills

have been found to contain PMA, speed, DXM, and PCP. Deaths have already been reported from heatstroke as a result of taking this mock pill (What Is Ecstasy, 2). Among other drugs that are currently on the rise are cocaine, inhalants, ciggerettes, and alcohol. The teenagers of our nation are our future. If this generation of teens continue growing up in an environment where drugs are everywhere and they are not receiving the proper drug education they will accept drug use as a proper way of life which will result in horrible consequences. We must do what we can to get the message across that drug use will greatly harm your body and mind. On an even scarier note, scientists and doctors have yet to discover the harmful effects that certain drugs have on an individual. In 20 years,

doctors may announce that those who have used ecstasy in the past, are guaranteed to develop brain tumors. This is a worst case scenario, but it is surely a reality. Drug use is a direct violation of the societal goals of good health, personal safety, and economic opportunity. Its is imperative that this issue be addressed as soon as possible before younger children are effected. By ignoring the huge problem that is staring this nation right in the face we are putting today s children, our children s children and so forth at risk. There are several causes for the increased number of teenage drug users in the country. The Clinton Administration shares some of the blame for increased abuse. By slashing drug enforcement positions, reducing drug persecutions, reducing international

anti-drug programs and laughing when he told an MTV audience that he didn t inhale he was not sending out a very positive message to the nations youth (Bauer, 2). The fact that many parents have difficulty approaching their children about drugs does not help either especially since most of today s parents, children from the 60 s and 70 s, have admitted to drug use themselves. The biggest problem seems to be the lack of efficiency in America s drug education program. My proposed policy is to issue a mandatory drug education course for all students in 8th through 12th grade which will be run by profit free drug education organizations ( for example, Teen Outreach, Students for a Drug Free America, PRIDE, etc.) taught by young adults who were once teenage drug users themselves. This