January 24, 2003

Teen Perspective

Drugs in High Schools

By: Andréa Hernández

(Editor’s Note: Teen Perspective is an opportunity for the youth of our communities to express themselves. Andréa Hernández, who is exploring the field of journalism, kicks-off with what we hope will be an occasional article appearing in the pages of La Prensa.)

It’s a bright, sunny afternoon. The halls, between class periods, are bustling with anxious high school students conversing excitedly with others. Faintly, a student can be heard asking another peer, “How much for an 1/8 g of chronic?” This isn’t a dark and dangerous alley where this drug exchange is occurring. It’s a relatively middle class high school in suburban San Diego.

There is still a belief among adults that drugs cannot possibly be in schools and are not exchanged among adolescent students. Junior Erika Rubalcaba says that, “ parents are naive because they don’t want to believe that their own child is involved in drugs.”

After all, school is supposed to be a safe haven, right? Wrong. The truth is, it’s not. 

It’s not uncommon before school for some students to smoke marijuana after their parents drop them off. Not only that, it is often done right on the school campus often far, like the football field, where faculty don’t consider anything mischievous.

Statistics, by the American Medical Association, show that approximately 76 % of high school students say drugs are kept, used, or sold on school grounds. 

One senior said that they do drugs because it was a sort of “false happiness beyond belief. It was a relaxed feeling that can’t be described because it sort of takes you out of reality into a surreal world where everything seems easy going.”

Drugs are everywhere. And having them around school makes them feel even more pressured by other kids to do them. Drugs, are often a crutch for people to lean on and make them feel good. In other words adolescents feel it gets rid of worries from their everyday lives. Others begin by trying the illicit substance then become hooked on it. 

It’s as easy as walking up to a student and asking where they get their drugs. In high schools everywhere, obtaining drugs are all about having connections, knowing those who sell them. Those who sell them are also the ones who have the major connections.

Many students who use drugs regularly depend on the drug dealers for stashes of marijuana. How exactly do these young kids obtain the drugs to sell?

One such dealer, around 17, with a baby face and hazel eyes isn’t what is typically thought of as selling drugs. The truth be told, dealers range in all shapes and sizes. It just so happens this young faced teen became mixed up in a drug induced world-early in high school.

One student drug dealer revealed that he gets the marijuana from a guy who makes trips to Arizona. He in response passes it on to the young kids who then sell it to their fellow students.

Teens sell drugs because they think its quick cash. There is not real labor involved and they might think they are not old enough to work a real job and need money so they sell it.

It’s a materialist world we live in and kids are influenced to want the best. Money is the only way to reach this high life. And selling drugs is often the easiest and best way to get money.

Recent studies show that, “American teenagers are cutting off their use of marijuana,” according to the Department of Health and Human Services in all age groups from 394 schools. But marijuana still remains as the most “popular” illicit substance among students.

The fact remains that drugs continue to be prevalent in schools. It is hard to say that drugs will one day be wiped out. The reality is its difficult to stop a cycle that has already been consumed in society.

(Ms Hernández is a senior attending high school in the South Bay.

If you are a teenager and want to share your feelings, opinions through the pages of La Prensa please call us (619-231-2874) or email us at laprensa@ix.netcom.com)

Return to the Frontpage