If there ever was a time where drug abuse was most prevalent, that time is now. Drug abuse is a growing issue amongst teenagers and young adults, and like cancer, is eating away at our precious youth. There is widespread use of stimulants within the public school system. According to The Nation Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) a stimulant “Is a class of drugs that elevate mood, increase feelings of well-being, and increase energy and alertness.” (1.) Stimulants come in many shapes and forms, but there are two common forms readily available for students. Since they are readily available, teenagers are able to acquire them and use them. Two of these readily available stimulants are nicotine and amphetamines.
Nicotine comes in a variety of forms, the most common being cigarettes. A study conducted by NIDA, said that more than 3 and one-half million teens between the ages of 12 and 17 use tobacco-that's about 15 percent of teens that age. Of those, just over 3 million, or 13 percent, smoke cigarettes. In the U.S., 66.5 million people, or about 29 percent of the population, use tobacco. (2.)
Amphetamines also come in a variety of forms, but one specific form is Adderall. Adderall is composed of mixed amphetamine salts and works by releasing increased amounts of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain. (3.) Adderal is most commonly prescribed for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Narcolepsy.
A report released by The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) states that people take these drugs as well as other drugs like it, to use their effects to get high, stay awake for extended periods of time to study, or part, or even mix with alcohol to intensify its effect. (4) What was once a way for students to “Be cool” or “fit in” by doing drugs is no longer an issue. Students aren’t doing these drugs to fit in, but rather using them to do things they wouldn’t normally being able to do, or use them in ways they weren’t intended to be used.