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Drugs & Health Blog

Real Life: Teens like You

This blog post is archived and is no longer being updated. For the latest content, please visit the main Drugs & Health Blog page.
Sara Bellum

Ever wonder how teens in other schools or parts of the country feel about drug abuse? Two teens recently told SBB about their real-life experiences with drugs and high school:

Mila, 16

Think of the two words: weed and cigarettes. What’s the first thing that crosses your mind? Maybe it’s addiction…but to a lonely teen who feels like an outcast from society, it might be something completely different. Maybe the first thing they think of is fitting in.

In high school there are loads of different cliques, like the manly jocks, the nerds, that group of back-stabbing sassy girls. They’re all unique, and so are the stoners. And to a lonely freshman, this is a whole new world, and they may feel left out. Which is probably terrifying, because not fitting in is the worst feeling in the world. Whether it’s having no one to eat with at lunch, or not having a partner to do the assignment with in class.

If you take a closer look at the mind of that freshman, the only thing that he’s going to be thinking about is having some friends, and how he can fit in with one of those cliques. However, he may not exactly fit anywhere, and now he may be feeling even worse than before. Maybe he’ll turn to drugs, not because it’s the cool thing to do but because he desperately wants to be part of something, and the stoner group is the easiest one to be a part of! But just because they’re easy to be friends with doesn’t mean that they are who you should hang with.

As brainless as this may sound, some teens will stop at nothing to be “popular.” And this is exactly what happened to one of the kids at my school. He started out innocent and open, but now drugs are the only thing on his mind. He’s not the same kid he was, and there’s no way I can respect someone who did what he did, no matter how desperate he was. Drugs are never the answer to any of your problems.

Mike, 17

On the last day of the first week of school, my school had a back-to-school dance. Even though this year it seemed like it would be really dumb, some friends and I decided to go. Some other kids we knew decided to go, too, but said they were going to smoke beforehand. That plan seemed way too risky because our school was getting really serious about drugs and threatened to have police at the dance. They decided to do it anyway.

Two hands with the words "DRUG FREE" written on the knuckles.

About 10 minutes into the dance, teachers started coming in and looking around, and we saw them pull someone we knew who was in the group that smoked. Then, another one of our friends got pulled out. Eventually, the school contacted all the parents of kids in the group that smoked before the dance.

Although the kids involved were able to avoid any legal charges, they were given a 2-week suspension and forced to go to drug counseling sessions until deemed ready to stop by their respective counselors. The ones on football were also kicked off the team for the season and had to apologize to their coaches. Two of them are still in trouble with their parents and lost their trust because of it. In the end, I really don’t think the consequences were worth the 10 minutes they were able to have fun at the dance.

So maybe think about their situation and how it ended up for them the next time you want to do what they did.

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


Has anyone seen the BBC Horizon documentry Cannabis: The Evil Weed? It spends a lot of time with resaerchers in the UK who are looking into the effects of Cannabis on various age groups and the results were quite interesting. Apparently childeren under 15 are far more likely to suffer severe long term problems but I was amazed to find that the older strains of the plant actualy produces an anti psychotic chemical called Cannabidiol. So you could end up taking Cannabis based medicines to treat the mental health issues caused by smoking too much Cannabis. Talk about ironic. [commercial link removed, per guidelines]

@Mark Yes, the British Journal of Psychiatry published a study in 2008 suggesting that Cannabidiol acts as an anti-psychotic in possibly counteracting the potential effects of THC on individuals with mild symptoms of schizophrenia, or a preexisting tendency to it.


I was a teenager who abused drugs. Not just cannabis, as in this post, but many drugs. A lot of people believed I was doing it in an act of rebel, a way to say '[expletive deleted] you' to my life and society. In some regards it probably was but a bit part of it was I was battling some major inner demons, as this case with a lot of kids.

When you're growing up and you're falling into a chaotic pit of mental health issues, you can often feel alone. You definitely feel like an outcast. You feel like you're the only person in the world who's going through this. "Why me God?" is a common question. Drugs, such as cocaine, induce a sense of euphoria and they allowed me, and probably many others, to forget just for a couple of hours, just to get away. It was bliss.

I am not supporting drug abuse. Drug abuse did more damage to my life than I could possibly imagine. For one, I didn't go to college nor did I finish high school but that might not have happened anyway on account of being hospitalized numerous times over the course of them years.

My point, however, is to make it clear here that drug abuse is often never just the problem itself. It's a nasty side effect and, regardless of a suspension or kicking them off the football team, a teenager going through serious issues will never stop. If you want them to stop, get to the root of the issue. Don't get me started on how wrong it actually is to knock children off their favourite extra-curricular activities because of this. This will do more damage than good.

So yeah, this is my view from a reformed drug addict who is now the lead technical director of a marketing company. I think my opinion counts.

I've just shared something I haven't shared in a good few years.
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I wholeheartedly agree with you! They only look at the symptom (drug use) and not the cause and this is a major flaw in our society. This occurs in many other aspects of society too not just drug use. And like you said, taking away extra-curricular activities do more harm than good - I honestly think it would make the teenager increase their use. I wish people/parents/teachers/friends took the time to listen...

This story is encouraging. I will try to deliver these to the students in my district. Thanks.

good information provided by this post [commercial link removed, per guidelines]

I remember when I was a kid, I did all this and other crazy stuff.

Thank Goodnesss one of my best friends took me out of this and helped me.
Nowadays, I am happily married and do a full time marketing.

I think a majority of the New York City High Schools need to post something like this in their hallways. I went to a high school where a majority of the students smoked weed and drank alcohol during breaks in front of the school and nothing was done! NYPD would never do anything unless someone complained which was once in a while. Things like this result in low grades and poor school conditions.

Please read an article I post on my blog discussing the poor schools in New York City:
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My friends bf does this, and she thought abiut it until I tild her if she did I woould call the police. She din't believe but didn't do it anyway. I was dead seroius. I rather she hate me then end up dead in a well 3 months later. Later in her life she will thank me i hope.

Just wanted to share a quick story. Not just any story, but part of my life. When I moved to live with my aunt and uncle I had continued my habit of smoking marijuana. After a while it seemed like they didn't notice. I was in ASB which is a leadership program, I was doing basketball and I was in a police cadet program. Anyways I told someone I trusted in the cadet program about my past with marijuana and where I used to hide it, we were at a event and I was in my uniform. So I get called back by an officer in charge of the program he comes in with my aunt and uncle. They open my backpack and search through my stuff, they ask me where I am hiding it (I had no Idea what they were talking about) they break apart all my deodorants and find no marijuana. I then get drug tested a day or two later and come out clean with no drugs in my system. The person I trusted had told the person that I may have drugs on me and that I might be high. Neither were true but because of that I got kicked out of the program, kicked out of ASB, and kicked off of my basketball team. Drugs can and do ruin your life. Its better to be clean and have less issues instead of having issues with everyone.
Be yourself. As cheesesy as it may sound, these are words of wisdom. In reality, you shouldn't care of what others think of you. They can't change your soul. I was very lucky to be born not careing what others think of me. My aunt lost her life doing meth and drinking achohol. don't let this be you. Listen to those who tell you to stop. If you don' may never see life again.
it is good to be drugs free from the streets and in the schools people is thinking like me know what i'm talk keep drugs a with from people kicked out of ASB, and kicked off of my basketball team. Drugs can and do ruin your life. Its better to be clean and have less issues instead of having issues with everyone. but dont liszten to no one tell u to try drugs or pills or weed or coco. because i was so close bron as a drug but my mom quit drugs a head of time