Educational System and Teen Drug Problem

Girl with bookbag sitting against a brick wall
Girl with bookbag sitting against a brick wall

A trend that has many parents and caregivers worried is the rise of teen drug use within the educational system. Learn more about the impact of drugs on teens in school and what can be done to support young people.

Drugs at School

Adolescence is the time to gain independence and figure out who a person is and how to enjoy life.  Much teen drug use happens on school grounds and it is a continuous problem that requires more than one solution.

Nearly 3 million teens are using drugs during the school day and the majority of teens report peers are selling drugs. The most commonly abused drugs by teens are marijuana, alcohol and prescription medication. Other illegal drugs are common but are not being used at school. Most students report knowing someone who either uses or sells drugs or has access to some alcohol. Some reasons include:

  • Curiosity
  • Peer pressure
  • Pleasure
  • Rebellion
  • Self-medication

What Schools Can Do

Schools have rules about drug use which include policies about what can happen when teens are caught. Having a policy does not mean teens are monitored daily. Teachers and faculty have a lot to do in a short day with a limited budget. The manpower to monitor the activity takes time when it comes to monitoring the situation. Schools may develop drug contracts for teens or try to monitor situations more effectively and provide alternatives such as zero tolerance policies. Parental involvement at school can make a big difference when it comes to teen drug use in school.

Education and Avoidance

Keeping teens safe from drugs at school is about recognizing the harmful effects on the body. Teens will experiment with drugs and alcohol but may fall into the trap of drug abuse and suffer the consequences. Before requesting a teen take a drug test, it is important to educate about the dangers and health issues caused by drug use. Teens have a hard time looking at long-term consequences and often feel invincible. The risk of illness, injury, bad judgment, addiction and death is too great to ignore as a consequence of drug use. Teens must be educated about drug use and taught to avoid it, even at school. Teens can avoid drugs at school and be clear of the devastating consequences. Some basic rules include:

  • Setting clear limits and pre-determined consequences
  • Creating family policies to support picking up a child any time, place or situation
  • Getting educated on drugs, the effect on the brain and body and preparing for problems if they arise
  • Be committed to non-judgment and open communication
  • Support healthy habits through encouragement of sports, activities or recreation

Sustain Recovery provides a healthy approach for adolescents seeking recovery from addiction. We provide a holistic treatment program for individuals to find their way back from addiction and create plans that will take them into sobriety for the long haul. Call us to find out how to get started.