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Addiction & School Issues

young-man-sitting-in-playground-smoking-jointSchools across the country take a strong stance on drug and alcohol use, however even with all of their efforts, there are various types of drugs that are available to high school and college students. The abuse of illicit substances has a major impact on school performance in children and teens. Grades will often suffer due to lack of energy and focus, poor concentration, and loss of drive. Students using alcohol or drugs also often lose interest in extra curricular activities and other healthy social interactions. Ultimately drug and alcohol abuse can lead to not only truancy, but to the addicted student dropping out of school all together.

Different types of drugs tend to have different adverse affects on school performance. For instance, marijuana use can lead to short term memory loss, and issues with logical thinking; leading to decreased academic performance. Drugs such as anabolic steroids, which are sometimes taken by athletes, might temporarily boost a student’s athletic performance. Ultimately, the temporary boost will give way to a host of anger issues and emotional problems in addition to a host of negative side effects that are physical.

One of the most commonly abused substances that negatively affects school performance is alcohol. Alcohol abuse has been tied to many different issues in school including lower grades, truancy, and an increase in the rate of drop outs. High school students who abuse alcohol are much more likely to drop out of school than their counterparts who abstain from alcohol. A previous survey has shown that as alcohol use by students increases, their grade point average decreases. Students who abused alcohol also scored lower on state tests, and were far more likely to skip class or behave disobediently at school.

Drugs Commonly Abused By Students:

  • Marijuana
  • Adderall
  • Inhalants
  • Synthetic marijuana
  • Cough medicine
  • Alcohol

In order to prevent long term issues with drug and alcohol abuse among children and teens, education is necessary. Early intervention and treatment is also important for anyone already suffering from a problem. Parents should have open dialogue with their children and teens regarding the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. While education often starts at home, many schools also offer drug education programs to teach kids about the dangers drugs and alcohol. Many schools also have a zero tolerance policy on drugs, and enforce a drug free school zone in the area surrounding the school. In addition to these measures, some schools have taken steps to implement drug testing procedures for school athletes, and those involved in other extra curricular activities. There is however some debate regarding these policies

Research has shown that drug and alcohol abuse among children and teens is actually on the decline. With continued education and policy enforcement, schools and parents can keep kids drug and alcohol free.

Learn more about drug and alcohol abuse and how to prevent children and teens from addiction.