Teens who experiment with drugs and alcohol are more likely to develop an issue with substance abuse. A lot of teens who resolve to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism, probably have trouble at home or with other issues like mental illness. These habits can stick  with you and limit your opportunities in the future . Making many unemployed and then resulting in poverty. Even more deaths occur because of overdosing. Making drugs one of the biggest issues in America.

So how does this abuse play a role in our community? Adolescents, usually teens in high school already worry enough with fitting in. And the challenges that come with growing  into an adult. They might believe that drugs that are an outlet to relieve stress . Even the smartest and most responsible kids can develop a habit. It’s not something new to the Salem community. Many families here do struggle and it’s hard to stay away from drugs when your environment is surrounded by it. A large amount of our homeless community do drugs or start to because of that environment they’re in, always being around it. Then it’s difficult to get out and strive with drugs and alcohol taking control over your life. I’ve seen it take control of people I know. So how can you help?

Maybe you can’t and that’s okay too but there are places that can. Rehab centers can help but every person is different. They don’t have locks on the doors so you’re free to leave at any time. Some facilities require that you detox (get sober) before even entering. The places you can go to detox have people who specialize with drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Rehab centers can also provide counseling. The cost is sometimes different but if you can afford it, it can be a life changer fro someone.

If you can’t physically help you can mentally and/or emotionally help. Be patient, things can’t just get better in a day. It’s going to take time. Don’t show aggression towards the person who’s trying to get better. They will probably feel guilt  and might believe you resent them. They may want to cope with this with drugs. It’s not their fault but the addictions. At times it will be scary and you may never think they’ll get better but if you keep being there at least they will have someone to go through this with. Not that they’re trying to take you down with them but holding onto someone who won’t bring them down even lower.

The best thing to do is to be patient. Addiction is a crazy thing and is life consuming. It can destroy families and lives. I know that the pressure is on in high school to start becoming an adult but turning to drugs won’t help you. If you find a friend in need, help them to get clean to the best of your ability. High school is just one part of your life that’s hard but amazing. Don’t waste it with an addiction.

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Hi, I'm Alec Palm! I began my service as Editor in Chief in June of 2018. Since joining the newspaper I've focused on leading the Spectator into the 21st century by creating this website and our social media presence including Instagram and Facebook. Be sure to follow me for the latest breaking news.