The Point

Addiction harmful to everyone; not just user

By Susan Norford, Reporter

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Malcolm James McCormick, also known as Mac Miller, was found dead in his Studio City, Calif. residence caused by a supposed drug overdose last month. The popular rapper was always very vocal about his struggles with addiction and how he was getting through it day by day.

As expected, people were grief-stricken, thousands of posts saying “#RIPMacMiller” and celebrities like Fiona Apple, Post Malone, and Chance the Rapper going to social media and posting their condolences. But next to that, his death sparked a nationwide conversation about drug abuse and how it affects our youth today.

From fitting, coping, and enhancing performance, teenagers do drugs for many different reasons According to Drugfree.org, “1 in 6 teenagers admit to taking prescription drugs to get high or change their mood.”  The effects of addiction often go undetected in our society, most kids never having a concrete conversation with their parents about drug and alcohol abuse.

But drugs are dangerous to teens and the repercussions can be deadly. Some of these effects can include: memory problems, delayed puberty or negative effects on reproductive health, damaged relationships, and brain development, according to AddictionCenter.com.

Drug addiction can also have a big connection with legal issues. Research shows that kids who do drugs are more likely to be involved with crimes. With 44% of teens arrested for burglary attributed their crimes to the need for money for drugs. And criminal records can affect future opportunities like jobs, financial aid for colleges and joining the military.

“Drug addiction affects our generation because doing drugs can affect the future life and career of our generation,” says junior Tatiana Altema.

A surplus of issues may occur with drug addiction, but the ones that could be most damaging involve family relationships and friendships. Drug addiction can cause trust issues to broken relationships. This includes things like secrecy because of fear of judgment or shame or, even worse, anger and aggression that leads to domestic abuse. It can affect the ways families and children grow up.

“I think that maybe people have family members who have gone through it; and of course, it would affect how they see the world and how they were raised,” said junior Abigail Wallace.

Although the pain of drug addiction is so very real for teens, families, and friends, there is help that can be sought out if you or a teen you know is going through a drug addiction. Using treatment centers, getting counseling, or even talking to a trusted friend, can help teens in the grasp of drug addiction begin the first steps to conquering their demons.

Overall, teenage drug addiction doesn’t just affect the addicted, it affects the ones around them and their future. If you or someone you know is going through an addiction call the Substance Abuse and Mental Services Administration national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4367).

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Addiction harmful to everyone; not just user