Let’s not get high

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“Ask The Experts” is written and provided by Scholarship Media. It does not reflect the views of The Collegian or its advertisers.

I have personally witnessed the rise of drug addiction in other teens. Even in my home town, people I know from school are in trouble with drugs. What can be done about it?

This question resonates with students, teacher and parents. Over 60% of teens report that drugs are sold and used at their school. It’s a major issue affecting teenagers and entire communities.

How can an individual make a positive impact on their peers and community? Your contribution starts with affecting perceptions and behavior of people around you.

At your former elementary school, find out what educational program they have for kids. You will be surprised to discover that some schools teach kids about drugs; others teach kids not to use them.

Parents and teachers can change the way children learn about drugs and addiction, starting at an earlier age, says D.A.R.E., a comprehensive, K-12 drug education program.

Nevertheless, lots of teens ignore those lessons, becoming involved with drugs and alcohol. There are support groups and resources at school and in the community. The problem is how to encourage addicts to seek help.

There has been an uptick in enrollment for addiction studies at colleges nationwide. This reflects the growth of substance abuse counselors, with their numbers rising over 20% during the decade.

Whether you plan a career in health, law or government, addiction studies at college will help prepare you.

If the goal is getting someone to rehab, it is not a single or simple step. Few addicts go to rehab of their own volition. Rehab is presented as a prescribed treatment for disease. Even your general practitioner is now trained to help you get clean.

Sorry, Nancy Reagan, “just say no to drugs” is a good slogan, but little help.