Wednesday, January 2, 2013
In the wake of the recent school shooting at Sandy Hook elementary in Newtown Connecticut, many are questioning the safety of students in educational settings and facilities. While these questions about safety pertain mostly to the danger proposed by the mentally ill and those possessing guns, there is another danger that lurks within school walls, and has been present for a great many decades.
Drugs and drug culture tends to center around schools quite naturally. After all, schools are places where ideas and experiences are encouraged to be tested and explored. The danger of this is that while our students convene in this exploratory environment, drugs also have their way of convening here.
Drug counseling programs all around the United States are seeing a growing trend of younger and younger individuals entering treatment for drug abuse, with many seeing ages as young as 8 entering heroin rehab. This has many asking, "Where is the outcry towards this danger, which is just as real and has been inundating schools for years?"
"We should be worrying about guns in our schools," says one parent, "but we should be paying attention to all dangers, not just the ones that are currently popular in news media outlets."
Latest statistics show that 1 in 4 students going from elementary school to middle school have already had an encounter with drugs; additionally, 45% of 9th graders have already experimented with drugs. That is 45% of all of the 9th graders in the country that are toying with substances that have proven to be as deadly as a loaded weapon. With numbers as shocking as these, the statistics demand more protection for our students in the form of prevention and treatment.
For those that are already using drugs at such an early age, there are treatment options through holistic drug rehabs and counseling programs. What is really required, is for the nation to open its eyes and realize that the problem is already inside the schools, and we need to takes steps to alleviate it.