In 2014, 11% of the dispositions for the Licking County Juvenile Court were drug related (Licking County Probate - Juvenile Court, 2015).
Illicit drug use by school-aged adolescents continues to be a concern for a number of groups, including parents, educators, health professionals, and teens themselves. There is good reason for the concern. Research shows that the earlier the age of onset of drug use, the greater the likelihood of later abuse and/or dependence. (Falck, 2012, pg. 1)
High school age bodies and brains are still in developmental stages which can make them especially vulnerable to the effects of drug use. Illegal drug use continues to rise.
Most people use drugs for the first time when they are teenagers. There were just over 2.8 million new users of illicit drugs in 2013, or about 7,800 new users per day. Over half (54.1 percent) were under 18 years of age. (Nationwide trends, 2014, pg.1)
Whether individuals consume prescription drugs that are not prescribed to them, or partake in use that is more than the prescribed amount, use other illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine, opiates, or consume amounts exceeding the recommended dose of over the counter medication, drug abuse is an easy escape. People are becoming so desperate for their next “fix” that they are consuming cleaning supplies, bath salts, battery acid, diesel fuel and many other substances that are easily obtained. The younger the addictions start, the more likely the addictions will progress to life threatening habits. The strength of these addictions not only can lead to unsafe conditions for the abuser, but also for the individuals directly in contact with the abuser, and also anyone else in the community, as witnes...
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... once the problem and struggle of abusers has reached its peak. Using local funding, grants, or even parent paid fee money towards secondary school drug testing could prevent or eliminate current or future struggles that youth will experience when it comes to drug use. The common goal is to reduce drug use at a young age to prevent addiction in the future.
This proposal should be enacted to help prevent substance abuse at a young age. If the problem is addressed early enough, the goal is for there to be a decline in adult abusers as well. Drug testing at an earlier age is a low cost way to prevent substance abuse before it starts, or before it becomes a way of life in the adolescents of the future. When the presence of hand sanitizer is against the rules in local school districts, because kids are getting drunk off of it during school hours, there is a problem.
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