Why Spring Hill May Be Losing the Battle to Addiction
October 30, 2020
This week, the week of October 26, was Red Ribbon Week across the nation. Red Ribbon Week is dedicated to raising awareness surrounding addiction. In 2017, over half of 12th-grade teens in America reportedly tried alcohol, and 16% of 12th-grade teens tried some kind of drug. Schools have traditionally supported motions to fight against substance abuse. However, dress-up days, short videos, and brief announcements are not enough to combat addiction rates. Considering the increasing accessibility of substances, high schools need to amplify their efforts to ensure that teens are aware of the serious and lasting effects of substance abuse.
In recent years, students have decreased in their perception of the impact of alcohol and drugs. They are not as aware of how such substances affect their mental health, success, relationships, and stability. Without an accurate view of its devastating effects, teens and young adults are more likely to fall into addiction.
What makes the decline in teen awareness of addiction even more concerning is how devastating the effects truly are. Families are torn apart, people end up on the streets, and suicide cases go up all due to addiction. After speaking with a student from Spring Hill High school, who chose to remain anonymous, I became aware of the effects of substance abuse on a personal level. “My older brother and I were close growing up,” the student said. “Now, he is in and out of rehab. I never see him because things go badly when he’s around. Drugs have caused him to not be in his right mind.” Addiction is not simply statistics. It is the cause of heartbreaking stories.
Yes, wearing red, watching a video, and receiving free anti-drug merch is fun. But schools are failing today’s youth by not enabling them to understand addiction. Our school in particular needs to meet the challenge. More time should be dedicated to discussing the reality of addiction. Educated and experienced speakers should pour into the student body. Counselors trained to help addicts and those traumatized by addiction should be available. We need to rise as a student body in supporting those who have already been affected by drug use and reach out to those who are slipping into it already. Students at SHHS now will lose their lives to substance abuse, but most of us have no idea the situation our peers are in. If students leave Spring Hill with a good education, but no capability to battle addiction, our school has failed us. The Panther Press is dedicated to educating our campus on addiction. We are committed to fighting the statistics.
Spring Hill Pledges to be Drug Free
Here at Spring Hill, all students and staff pledge to be drug free together. Red Ribbon week is one of the main ways that we’re able to show that we’re drug free. During Red Ribbon week each day has a certain theme, and every day students and staff members alike are encouraged to participate in them, allowing all of us to come together. The videos posted with this provide an example of how Red Ribbon week operated here, and why it is important to stay drug free.