By Olivia Lang
Grosse Pointe South High School, Michigan
Originally published here
When faced with peer pressure, it is important to remember that “just trying it once” can lead to a lifetime of addiction.
The negative physical and legal effects of drug use far outweigh the brief, alleviating feelings they produce.
The strong addictive nature of these substances makes it difficult to stop using once you’ve began, so it’s important to stay clear of these harmful, even potentially life-threatening drugs.
Addictive substances can result in severe health effects depending on how the type of drug affects the body, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) website.
For instance, hallucinogens like LSD can result in high blood pressure and heart rate, while opioids like heroin can lead to HIV, hepatitis and even death.
More common drugs like nicotine and marijuana also have potentially threatening physical effects, according to the NIDA website.
Nicotine in cigarettes can cause lung and heart diseases along with numerous types of potentially terminal cancers, and the physical effects of marijuana range from impaired learning ability and mental health to respiratory issues.
While it may appear to be fun to try out these drugs, their negative health effects and repercussions should convince students otherwise.
Allowing yourself to become addicted and vulnerable to these health risks is a mistake that can affect your life and the lives of those around you.
In addition to physical harm, substance abuse may also result in legal troubles. All of the substances previously mentioned, besides nicotine after age 18, are illegal at any age, resulting in serious repercussions if caught.
If a student uses or possesses drugs at school, the administration is required by law to call the police in order to protect students.
The police will then respond in a number of ways depending on the type or amount of substance involved in the situation, as they should.
According to the Michigan Legislature website, the possession or delivery of illegal substances (e.g. hallucinogens, narcotics, cocaine, etc.) is considered a felony offense, resulting in potential imprisonment, a large fine and/or community service.
A felony cannot be removed from your record, making it difficult to find a job, let alone get into college.
Using and possessing marijuana is considered a misdemeanor, resulting in a fine and/or time spent in a juvenile detention center, while delivering or possessing with the intent to deliver marijuana is a felony.
Both misdemeanors and felonies appear on your criminal record.
In or out of school, substance abuse is a risk to the lives of students.
The choices students make now can affect them physically and legally throughout the rest of their lives.
It’s important to be aware of the repercussions involved with substance abuse.
Next time you’re tempted to “just try it once,” remember that one dose can lead to many serious health effects, emotional troubles and legal hardships.