Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 Round 2 - Two Sided Coin

Name: Claire M...
From: Chandler , AZ
School: Hamilton High School
Votes: 0 Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 Round 2 - Two Sided Coin

Two Sided Coin

Due to the pressures that teenagers face, there are so many more opportunities for teenagers to fall victim to substance abuse. However, with rising pressures between the expectation of perfection to get a few coveted scholarships to getting into college at all, life as teenager has rapidly become more stressful and riddled with anxiety. In the past, normal was considered that as a high schooler you should try drugs and alcohol with your friends. However due to the pressures of being a teenager in 2020, a new mindset has pervaded thousands of teenagers, that drugs and alcohol can help with the stress. This is seen with obsessive partying and increase in drug and alcohol abuse to escape, but there is another side to the issue. Academic teenagers are also striving for a coveted image, albeit different. In order to achieve perfect grades, high test scores, and the ideal combination of extracurriculars, students often feel they can’t do it all. However, as the demands rise, they continue to struggle to meet them, and to do so, they may turn to drugs such as Adderall. Drugs that are meant to assist others, suddenly have become a tool to be better. Instead of the already dangerous number of all-nighters, students would rather turn to drugs than let their GPA slip by even a little. These seemingly minor infractions can easily shift into serious addictions that can result in disconnecting from family, friends, and school. A lack of support system due to this withdrawal can allow the problem to continue for years. The consequences of addiction to drugs or alcohol can easily be seen in slipping grades, lack of focus at school, irrational behavior (such as stealing), and even physical complications. In order to attempt to become a “normal” high schooler, teenagers are willing to gamble their lives with drugs and alcohol. However, that’s only one side. However, most of these challenges could be averted. I believe that if the Governor’s Youth Commission were to reach out to students in Junior High, before they have more access to opportunities to try drugs and alcohol, the risk could be more easily understood. At that age, most kids haven’t tried drugs or alcohol and therefore haven’t already closed off their minds to the dangers and risks of substance abuse. By holding an assembly in 8th grade or hanging posters around the school, I believe the message would be more effectively spread and would therefore minimize those who tried it in high school. At the high school level, increasing awareness about what an addiction is could motivate high schoolers to seek help for a problem they weren’t even aware of. There are resources available, however many are unaware of how to gain access to them, if they even know they need help at all. Substance abuse is the biggest danger facing teenagers now.


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Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 Round 2 - Two Sided Coin
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