By Emily Shea & Ariana Serventi
The Tower (Grosse Pointe, Michigan)
**names in this story have been changed to protect the anonymous.
During this school year, Grosse Pointe South has noticed an increase in drug abuse and illegal activity, according to Chris Thomas, a Grosse Pointe Park police officer.
“Every now and then we catch a few kids, but this year it seems that drugs have become a big problem in schools,” Thomas said.
Considering he has only been a Grosse Pointe Park police officer for about a year now, Thomas said that he hasn’t noticed a big increase, but it is obvious there is still a problem.
While drug and alcohol use is uncommon in teenagers and young adults, living next to an “easy access area” such as Detroit, can make it even more prevalent, Thomas said.
Following recent events, like school wide drug busts and problems within the community, more people are starting to question how much of an impact and influence Detroit actually has on underage students’ drug use
Students safety is one of the police’s highest priority, but if they continuously involve themselves in dangerous and illegal activity, it can be hard to help, Thomas said.
Administration seems to believe that students at South are involved in drugs and that there possibly has been an increase, students seem to disagree.
“I think students, including myself, feel that after a long week of school that relaxing and just having a good time after a stressful week is important,” said South student Peter Elway*.
Although students agree that it is important to relieve stress through the use of drugs, South’s social worker Doug Roby said is not a good way to do so.
When a student involves themselves in behavior such as the use of drugs and alcohol, it can lead to further illegal activities, Roby said.
“A lot of the bad behavior has to do with teenagers trying to find things to do and get experience,” Thomas said. “It is important to try and hold on to positive things and surrounding yourself with positive people.”
Kids hear it time and time again to keep themselves surrounded by positive people, yet Elway said just because some students may be involved in bad behavior, does not mean they are bad people.
“I think parents and other adults have the wrong idea of some kids,” Elway said. “What they don’t know is that their child could just as easily be involved in illegal activities.”
It is not necessarily a problem at South, Elway said. Although high school students are notorious for drinking and using drugs, this doesn’t apply to all students.
But if a student does think they have problem with drugs or alcohol, the key thing is asking for help, Roby said.
“With each person I meet with, we look at the choices they are making and how it impacts their life,” Roby said.
Students may use drugs or alcohol to relieve stress, but Elway agrees with Roby.
“If it becomes a problem, individuals should reach out for help and evaluate how their choices can affect the rest of their life. It’s hard to fully understand how something will impact your life in the moment,”Elway said.
“You are not thinking about the consequences of something when you are doing it, but after, reality can catch up.”