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5 Commonly Abused Drugs by High School Students

photo of diverse crowd of male and female students demonstrating the 5 commonly abused drugs by high school students

Since the seventies, bell bottoms morphed into skinny jeans, disco gave way to electronic dance music, and teens smoked less marijuana. But trend watchers know there’s nothing like time to make something old seem new again.

Fortunately, education about addictive substances hits the mark in many communities. Educators and community officials are more sophisticated in discussing drugs and alcohol, and drug use rates are down as a result. Instead of using scare tactics and emotional manipulation to offer incomplete information, educational efforts give teens a fuller picture. It’s essential to be truthful with teenagers about substance use and the effects substance use can have on their future.

At Michael’s House, we work with teens struggling with drugs daily. We understand how challenging it is to talk about drugs with your teenager, but it’s crucial for their well-being. Reach out to us today at 760.548.4032, and we can help you better understand how to discuss with your teen. Michael’s House also offers substance abuse treatment programs that focus on addiction and mental health to help your teen who might be struggling with substance use.

History of Drug Use in Teens

Teens tend to experiment, and their dabbling is a necessary but risky part of growing up. However, the costs are high when teens experiment with drugs and alcohol. Teen brains react more efficiently to drugs, putting them in danger of addiction and other health problems.

As the number of teens with substance issues falls, it’s easy for them to be complacent about drug use since they do not see as many peers who use drugs and experience negative consequences. Highlighting drug trends plays a role in keeping kids informed. More than 40 years ago, overall substance use rates were higher. After dropping in the 1980s, rates rose again in the 1990s. Researchers believe it’s important to spread messages about drug risks at all times because of the tendency of teens to use substances when they think it’s not harmful.

Many factors lead to substance use and addiction, but researchers still debate how much impact peer pressure has versus societal pressures. Research has proven that teens who associate with other kids who use drugs are more likely to start using themselves. Friends’ influence on a teenager can be stronger than the cultural norms of their community, the bond they share with family members, or any educational programs they’re enrolled in.

Understanding High School Drug Use

Drugs in high school are becoming more and more common. It’s estimated that about one in four high school students have used drugs at least once in their lifetime, and that number is only increasing. While drugs like marijuana and alcohol have always been popular among teenagers, new drugs like prescription and designer drugs are also gaining popularity. So why are drugs so prevalent in high school? There are several reasons. For one, peer pressure is a major factor. Kids feel pressured to fit in and be like their friends, so they’re more likely to try drugs.

Additionally, many kids turn to drugs to cope with stress or anxiety. High school can be challenging, and drugs can seem like an easy escape. Finally, some kids may simply be curious about drugs and want to try them out. Whatever the reason, it’s necessary to understand why drugs are so prevalent in high school and to take steps to prevent drug use.

Commonly Abused Drugs by Teens

It’s no secret that drugs are a big problem in high schools nationwide. Every day, students are pressured to experiment with drugs, and many give in to temptation. High school students most commonly abused drugs include alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drugs.

  • Alcohol – According to a recent study, nearly 60% of high school students have tried alcohol at least once. Alcohol is especially dangerous for teenagers because their brains are still developing. Drinking can interfere with this process and lead to problems with memory, learning, and decision-making later in life.
  • Marijuana – Many students believe marijuana is harmless, but it can harm developing brains. Marijuana use has been linked to problems with memory, attention, and decision-making. It can also lead to anxiety and depression.
  • Prescription drugs – Many students use prescription drugs because they believe they are safe since doctors prescribe them. However, prescription drugs can be just as dangerous as illegal drugs when they are not used as intended. Abuse of prescription drugs can lead to addiction, overdose, and even death.

If you or someone you know is struggling with drug use, help is available. Many resources can provide support and assistance. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you need it.

Learn More About Teens and Drugs from Michael’s House

Teens use drugs for many reasons, but peer pressure and societal norms play a role in influencing their behavior. It’s crucial to stay aware of drug trends in your community and talk to your child about the dangers drugs can pose to their health and future. If you suspect your teen is struggling with substance use, don’t hesitate to seek help. At Michael’s House, we provide treatment programs designed specifically for teens and young adults to address their unique challenges in recovery. Contact us today at 760.548.4032 to learn more about how we can support your family during this difficult time.