Youth not warned about dangers of drugs, alcohol

Youth not warned about dangers of drugs, alcohol by Natalee Martin Evidence shows that beer is more popular with adolescents than marijuana. The government is spending $195 million this year on a campaign to dissuade teenagers from using illegal drugs. Not a cent of the appropriated tax dollars goes to warn about the dangers of drinking.

Alcohol and drug use among students is a serious problem. Campus environments are often seen as encouraging not only use but abuse. Binge-drinking, drinking to get drunk, usually considered at least four drinks on any occasion, is one form of substance abuse that is very common among students. In an environment where binge-drinking is common, so are substance-related legal offences and injuries.

Illegal drugs, underage possession of alcohol and drunk driving can costs fines and jail time. Fights, sexual assault, and injuries are more likely to happen when one has been drinking or doing drugs. Half of campus injuries are alcohol-related.

One third of people who die in drunken driving crashes are under 25 years old. It's the leading cause of death for young people. Overall, 44 percent of U.S. college students engaged in binge drinking during the two weeks prior to the survey. (For men, binge drinking is defined as having five or more drinks in a row, and for women as having four or more drinks in a row.)

Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States. A dry, shredded green/brown mix of flowers, stems, seeds, and leaves of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa, it usually is smoked as a cigarette (joint, nail), or in a pipe (bong). It also is smoked in blunts, which are cigars that have been emptied of tobacco and refilled with marijuana, often in combination with another drug.

Because many individuals really don't know the dangers of all drugs, teens have accepted these into their life style, making it ok for friends or family to use. But it isn't ok.

Perhaps more money should be spent on informing young people on the dangers of all drugs, including alcohol; not just marijuana and those drugs that aren't as familiar to teens.

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