The Elevation of Drug Use Essay

The Elevation of Drug Use Essay

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It’s been nearly 20 years since my high school graduation. Just as time has passed, technology has advanced, and so has the elevation of drug use. As I reflect back in regards to the drug taking behavior I can recall that there was a stereotype of those who were labeled drug users. Several factors contributed to using drugs, but the one factor that was and still prevalent was peer pressure. This is a time in the adolescent’s life when peer approval is an essential component for the direction of his or her behavior. (Levinthal, 2014). To participate in a risky behavior and engage in activities that purposely revolved around alcohol consumption and smoking marijuana was a decision made by many. Drug use was not the only way to become cool, but it was the desired ticket that allowed many who were shunned and felt lost to gain the acceptance from their peers.
The occurrence of illicit drug use increased through the decade of the 1990s. (Levinthal, 2014). In 1995, the drug of choice that was so eagerly experimented with was marijuana. According to National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) (, “an estimated 9.8 million Americans were smokers of marijuana making it the most commonly used illicit drug.” The rate of marijuana use among high school seniors between 1994-1995 increased from 6 percent to 8.2 percent. Also noted on the NCJRS ( is the fact that cannabis is frequently cultivated in remote areas such as Tennessee, Kentucky, Hawaii, California, and New York. I was not only among this generation, but lived in a rural area of East Tennessee. “Between 1993 and 2000 Tennessee ranked among the top five states in the nation based on the numbe...

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...are far greater then the effects of drug use in my generation. Teens are overdosing on prescription pain pills, robbing pharmacies for the oxycontin, and going to extremes to chase the high, risk fatality for coolness.
Understanding the reasons why one ventures down the avenue of drug taking behavior is a question that considers many factors. There is a prevalence that if one has prominent risk factors they are more likely to experiment. Protective factors are influences that can plant a seed of insight to the dangers associated with drug use and in hopes steer a young person away from the use. (Levinthal, 2014). To say one was cool for engaging in drug taking behavior a label that is often determined for what the social norm is. The same as in my high school days it starts out as a way to fit in and turns in life changing behavior that is often irreversible.

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