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Chasing the high: pursuit of the truth behind the rise in drug culture

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With students chasing happiness to many ends, what will it to take for those always searching to avoid the pitfalls of drug use?

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Chasing the high: pursuit of the truth behind the rise in drug culture

In the halls of a not-so-small school there is the ringing commotion of young adults attempting to change themselves into a positive force for society.

Maybe the commotion of young adults as they attempt to fit in, or young adults attempting to be happy. Everyone wants to be happy. Everyone needs to be happy. We live in a culture where every single second of every single day we need to be happy. But does the blind pursuit of happiness destroy us? Can it strip away our humanity or our morals? Can it leave us in a nation of “druggies” that have failed to achieve their only goal?

The blind pursuit of happiness has created an epidemic of drugs and other frivolous activities and at the brink, the question arises: Should we continue in the direction we’re moving in?

It’s a Friday night and let’s say morals are the least of the concern of high school students. They flock to houses to partake in one night where they attempt to forget the worries of long week. Binge drinking and drugs combine with young adults who haven’t yet drawn lines of morality.

14 out of 17 Mead High School students said “yes” when asked, “Is there a drug problem at Mead High School?” The other three students noted drug use, but didn’t see it as a problem.

They were then asked to pinpoint the reason for the consumption of drugs. An alarming number students said the reason for drug consumption was due to peer pressure. However, one student disagreed with this widely-thought notion. The dialogue went as followed:

“Is there a drug problem at Mead High School?”

“Yes.”

“What do you think is the reason for drug consumption as a whole?”

Taking a moment to think, she responded, “Depression.”

“Elaborate”

“Anyone can say no. You can blame others but at the end of the day it’s your choice. I feel like a lot of students are not happy with their life and drugs are escape.”

After this conversation, it was apparent there was a disconnect between believed truth and reality.

I sat down with Mrs. Ayers, the principal at Mead High School,  to see if she had any insight. I asked the same question, “is there a drug problem at Mead?” After giving a list of the drugs she considers an “issue,” she too said “yes”. 

It’s a time of “curiosity and peer pressure.” She also pointed to media as a major corporate behind this phenomenon. She said that this year has been better than years past due to the new policies the school has taken. They have cracked down on vaping and made the parking lot function as its name implies and no longer a “hangout zone” for  students.

There has been a notable change. However, bathrooms still smell of a vape lounge. The school holds some blame, however there are larger factors involved. I decided to look into how the media effects drug usage.

On October 23rd, 2018, I looked at Spotify’s top 50 most played songs daily. 35 out of 50 songs had mention of some form of drug use or alcohol consumption.

My issues with  finding the reason behind drug usage were due to my attempt to blame a complex issue on one source when, in reality, it is a  combination of multiple factors that enable this issue to persist.

All reasons fall under two categories: cultural and personal. Cultural factors involve peer pressure and and “party culture,” while personal would be a lack of responsibility taken by individuals or their attempts to escape the monotony of a long week.

Action must be taken in both regards if any form of change is to occur. To begin, religion has been in decline across the globe and the consequences are beginning to arise. The disassociation between belief and action is something that needs reconsideration. Kids are no longer being taught in belief and are instead being told in action. In reality, if actions are not tied to beliefs, teaching will inevitably fail.

Americans should have the ability to practice and teach religion and beliefs or not, but if this decline continues, we as a culture need to find another means in which to believe.

I don’t believe in any form of censorship in media and don’t think that placing a blockade on music will have any effect on drug usage. I think if the culture shifts away from drugs then the media will follow as it is largely reactionary to cultural trends.

With individuals, there is much to improve. There is a purpose crisis across all ages and I think it is evident in suicide rates across America.

In the halls of a not-so-small school there is the ringing commotion of young adults living up to cultural norms and attempting to live through monotony and stress. Attempting to be happy. They need to be happy. We need to be happy. But is there any purpose in a world that needs to be happy?

 

*As an opinion article, the views expressed in this article are not representative of The Mav student newspaper.

About the Writer
Landin Miyake, Reporter

Landin Miyake is a senior at Mead High School. He enjoys activities such as track and field. On the news staff he hopes to promote social change to make...

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Chasing the high: pursuit of the truth behind the rise in drug culture