Teen drug use isn’t just something seen in after-school specials. Many teenagers will use alcohol or drugs before they graduate high school, whether that be due to peer pressure or for the use of study aids. An estimated 68 percent of students try alcohol by their senior year, more than 35 percent have used marijuana, and about 2.5 percent use cocaine or other hard drugs. The result of this is an increase in bad grades and the number of students who drop out altogether.

The Effects of Alcohol

While not legally considered a drug, alcohol is a mind-altering substance and does cause issues for students. Teenagers who drink at a party on Saturday night are likely still feeling the effects on Monday, and the problem is even worse for those who drink on school nights.

The day after drinking, many people still have positive blood alcohol levels and often choose to sleep off the effects. Those who do go to class will likely feel anxious, irritable and retain less information. Even two days after drinking, people may still feel fatigued and have trouble concentrating in class.

The Effects of Marijuana

Marijuana is useful for many medical conditions and should only be used when legal, under a doctor’s watch. Using marijuana recreationally has many of the same effects as alcohol.

In addition to throwing off the natural sleep cycle and staying in the system for days after the initial effects wear off, the brain is affected in a number of different ways. Because marijuana suppresses the neurons in the hippocampus, people who use the drug often have trouble concentrating and remembering things. It also decreases motivation and energy.

Finally, marijuana may weaken the heart muscles and increase blood pressure, leading to anxiety or panic; Both of which can affect a person’s ability to get good grades in high school.

The Effects of Stimulants

Stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamine have short-term effects that improve focus and concentration, which is why many students fall victim to this type of drug use in high school.

Unfortunately, these drugs also have severe adverse side effects. Cocaine, which can stay in the system for up to four days, can cause anxiety, confusion, and aggression. Methamphetamine, which is highly addictive, can do the same. Meth can also cause extreme exhaustion during the comedown, leading to potential kidney problems.

Both drugs can even cause a heart attack or sudden death, making it very clear that the short-term concentration is not worth the long-term effects.

Teen drug abuse is a serious problem. What many see as experimentation can lead to serious long-term health issues, dropping out of school, getting in trouble with the law and even death. To learn more about combatting this problem, get in touch with Anthony Louis Center.