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Drug Use in Schools (Essay Sample)


The task involved a research on the prevalence of drugs and substance abuse in schools and the possible mitigation measures.


Drug Use in Schools
Drug Use in Schools
Drugs and substance abuse for a long time has been a topic of major concern to the family as well as the government. Given the myriad effects that non-prescribed drugs pose on users, the habit is a social problem. According to drug and substance abuse control agencies, the number of people relying on drugs has increased significantly prompting studies on appropriate control measures. Owings and Kaplan (2003) suggest that the present scenario especially student indulgence in drugs needs stricter school rules. However, there is discontent in the right approach which teachers, parents and school administrators ought to use. Yamaguchi, Johnston and O’Malley (2008) report that whereas studies unanimously agree that drug testing is legally permissible and a plausible deterrent measure, selecting students for such tests is a challenge. This brings to the fore the level of effects the trend has in education. Drug abuse in schools is rampant. However, the causes of this trend are diverse. It is possible to suggest that the emerging issues in drug use cause concerns to the entire society. Therefore, researchers should explore which drugs students tend to use, possible reasons for the trends and mitigation measures to fight the vice.
Review of Relevant Literature
Research notes that this drug use is profound among adolescents and progresses to early adult years and into old age. Investigators from different countries have conducted various studies to ascertain the levels of usage since drug abuse affects the productive ages of the users. The results of these studies reveal interesting albeit shocking facts. For example, Becker (2012) writes that in a workshop on drug prevalence in American schools, the panel, consisting of school administrators, deans and district counselors agreed that middle and high school students were increasingly using marijuana. Unlike in Caribbean nations, the specific time of year influenced the American case. In essence, the use was more prevalent during the homecoming of students. Based on these findings, the study exemplifies the need for more emphasis on marijuana as a drug which increasingly gaining popularity in schools.
Alcohol use is comparatively low in adolescents and high in college students. Research notes that high school learners abuse alcohol and marijuana often. Significant factors influence this trend. For instance, Kirby and Barry (2012) note that studies should explore the relationship between alcohol use and marijuana adequately. However, the authors report that alcohol is a gateway to abuse of other illicit drugs, especially marijuana. In the study, the researchers were intent to identify the real gateway between the two drugs. From the experiment, alcohol leads to the consumption of tobacco, marijuana as well as other drugs. Based on this fact, controlling alcohol use is a vital step in curbing drug use.
Unlike in most Caribbean nations, teenagers in the United States abuse the drug even though not many of them ascribe to the cultural and religious opinions that teenagers in the Caribbean channel profess toward the drug. According to Soyibo and Lee (1999), in the United Kingdom, 5-20% of schoolchildren use drugs. The study further identified that the peak age is 14-16 years. In Jamaica, studies showed that 60% of school going children experimented with drugs especially alcohol, Marijuana, tobacco and cocaine. The social factors that determine drug use are apparent. The current study sought to explore relationship between the social factors and the prevalence in drug use. These results are vital in the analysis of the drug use as in various social settings. It should be noted that mitigation measures are dependent on the social provisions and negativities associated with the community in which the student comes from.
Causes of Drug Use in Schools
Adolescents are prone to drug use due to a number of factors. Psychologists note peer influence as the main cause in drug and substance use. Mathews (2012) posits that researchers identify parental factors in child drug abuse. Nonetheless, this is only attributable to certain drugs. This is a pointer to the fact that prescription drugs are increasingly becoming popular drugs in contravention of the functions of the drugs. On the contrary, doctors do not prescribe marijuana, alcohol and tobacco, which are arguably the most abused drugs in schools. McCabe and Boyd (2005) noted in an experiment that college students illicitly used prescription drugs often. A comprehensive study on the cause of drug use in young people should focus on the opinions that are likely to lure children to drugs. Boys, Marsden and Strang (2000) explore marijuana and amphetamines in youngsters. The objective of the experiment was to understand the reasons behind drug use in young people. The researchers bring to the fore the active drug use model as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO). This is the major identifiable factor why young people experiment with drugs leading to addiction. The respondents apparently suggested the relaxing effect of the drug as the main reason to abuse the substances. Ninety eight percent of the participants confirmed that they relied on marijuana because of its relaxing feature. Apart from these, other causes include desire to fit in given group settings, uncontrolled freedom parents give children and ignorant and careless parents who expose young people to drugs.
Mitigation Measures
The effects of drug use in schools are far reaching and cut across the very fundamental aspects of societal living. The effects of drug use in teenagers may lead to a number of undesirable effects. With this in mind, mitigation measures are paramount. Government and private institutions have designed strategies aimed at controlling drug and substance use. However, it is apparent that these measures are inadequate especially because some policies fail to center on schoolchildren while others focus on communities. Deterrent measures are most effective because most young people practice the habit due to contact. Therefore, the first approach should be to avoid drug use in schools. One measure is strict drug testing in schools coupled with frisking of not only suspected students but also the whole student population. Additionally, communities should employ a community-based model in line with the affected populations. According to Wu and Detels (2002), community based anti drug campaigns are effective as compared to counseling.
It is common knowledge that the effects of drug abuse are universal and require collective approach. In this discussion, it is observable that out of an array of drugs, young people are mostly using ...
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