Drug abuse among adolescents is becoming less of a public health concern via the media and this represents a problem. A report from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health was conducted and the startling results barely made it to the news like it previously would have. The report included details of illicit encounters with drugs and how they are affecting all areas of society. In 2009, about 22 million Americans were regularly abusing drugs. This is a rise from the year 2008 where roughly about 1.5 million Americans were using marijuana. In 2007 a rise of 2.3 million users and in 2008, 205,000 users abusing Ecstasy. Also in 2008, a rise of 188,000 methamphetamine abusers were reported and a rise of over 800,000 people using prescription pills. These numbers pulled from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
As the number of users are growing so are the number of death tolls. A staggering number of Americans — 40,000 — are dying each year over drug overdoses. Don’t confuse this with gang deaths or car accident deaths, which comprise less deaths combined per year. This extremely high number is due solely to overdosing. Statistics like these rarely receive media attention.
I mean, who really cares that people are dying over drugs? Obviously, America does not feel that it is important enough to really be blasted on the media. The main focus here is to grab everyone’s attention because teens are gaining access to drugs. This must stop. But how? This underlying question is not being answered. Not by government officials — or anyone with power in the criminal justice field. The man most looked up to is not even saying a word about deaths from drug addiction. Pardon me, Mr. President Obama.
All I’m really trying to say here is that this issue is not being taken as seriously as it should be. We are losing more and more people to drugs. It’s disappointing to me that today’s world is doing almost nothing to help reduce the influence of drug abuse in children’s lives.
Full page ads about drugs are making our most popular newspapers. TV shows directly related to drugs are becoming more popular. Yes, they are designed for entertainment purposes — but with immature adolescent minds viewing, it is a recipe for disaster. Teenagers are influenced by almost anything. The widespread “cool” factor of drugs in the media raises the risk for teenagers to be influenced for the worst.