Think past the high: the effects of drug use on students


Madison Mitchell

When it comes to actually using the restrooms, students often choose not to.

Drugs in the eyes of some students are part of the high school experience, but they truly are a dangerous thing to play with. Recently, there has been an increase in overdoses across America in schools because students are partaking in substances without realizing what they’re signing up for. Many students’ first introduction to drugs is in the place where they go to relieve themselves.

An average bathroom at Hamilton usually looks like this: close to empty stalls, a group of students gathered next to sinks smoking on e-cigarettes and dab pens, and a select few students actually using the bathroom for its intended purpose. 

Most students start out small, with nicotine vapes before marijuana, mainly because they are the most accessible and addictive. Weed is then introduced to students, which of course seems like harmless fun, but inevitably can turn into addiction.

Although many students might disagree and insist that you cannot become hooked on marijuana, a senior at Hamilton, whose long journey and struggle with weed started in the bathroom, claims that those who disagree are merely deluding themselves. “You should recognize there is a problem when you voluntarily decide to spend your money on another cart or joint rather than on food or simply spend your last to get high,” she said. 

Because marijuana is portrayed in the media as a common drug, the effects it has on the body are often portrayed in a misguided way. Cannabis has a profound intellectual impact, particularly if it is a habit picked up while a person is young. Amelia Brown, who is a senior at Hamilton says, “You definitely see the impact drugs have on students because their drive to do well academically tends to be less resilient. Also, outside pressures that cause a student to depend on drugs outweigh their want to perform their best academically.” 

Amelia’s claims are also supported by Mr. Blank, who said he frequently sees students failing academically because of their dependence on drugs. “You can’t be your best if something else is slowing you down from being who you can be,” Mr. Blank said.

Students struggling with drug use can reach out to the wellness center or their counselor for support.

Reporting contributed by Justin Hernandez-Hinostroza and Aimar Mijangos