Substance abuse probably prevalent with MEHS students

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In 2021, 11.3% of high school students in the United States reported current use of marijuana. If you ask an American high school student whether they have participated in the use of marijuana in the past 30 days, students are more likely to say they have consumed marijuana.  

According to the 2019 National survey on drug use and health, more than 48 million Americans over the age of 12 used marijuana in the last year, making marijuana the most common illicit drug used in the United States. Originally, many teenagers believe that marijuana is safer than alcohol or other drugs but that is not the case. A myth that teens say is marijuana is harmless, but it is a harm in attention, decision-making, inhibition and impulse control, verbal fluency, learning ability and lastly their memory. We went around questioning staff members at Morton East High school, asking them questions about students abusing marijuana, and having addictions in school.  

Initially, school counselor Ms. Garcia had an opinion on how others can help those who are experiencing serious problems for consuming marijuana and are not aware of it.  

“Make (acquaintances who smoke) aware of (the dangerous consequences) now.  Tell them that it can affect them since they are still young, Show and tell them about resources you can get them. Some hospitals and youth groups relate to the schools,” Yesenia Garcia a counselor from Morton East High school, said. 

Usually, it’s not up to counselors to make decisions about students who are influenced by drug usage, which was important to hear the opinion of a Morton East Staff member who has more experience with these situations.  

“If we see a student who is suspicious of being under the influence we report it, and the student is taken out of class. If the students get mad, they let them cool down, give them their space. After we speak to them it’s up to the dean to figure what consequence and actions will be taken,” security Juan Aranda said.  

Prior to this, students formally believe that teachers aren’t aware of drug situations because they make “good” decisions when it comes to putting a good image to the school.

“The obvious identifier being under the influence of weed is typically they smell like weed, when someone says it smells like “weed in the room” everyone acts surprise that you know how weed smells. Teachers don’t have to be potheads to know what marijuana smells like,”  English teacher Mr.Frankfother said.