Don't Be So Quick To Judge

By: Mandy Hoadley

   Have you ever wondered why so many young people drink and use drugs? For many of us this is a question that can not be answered nor can it be explained. However, in the life of a teenager many reasons and changes arise that make them feel as if using drugs is their only solution.

   One of the main reasons for teenagers resorting to drugs is peer pressure. Peer pressure is when your peers or friends make you feel as if you need to change, or do something to fit in. Peer pressure is at an extremely high rate from the transition from junior high to high school. The reasoning for this is because adolescents are now attending school with an accumulation of new faces whom they desperately want to impress. Peer pressure can sometimes include forcing people to change who they are all together. if a person does not cave to peer pressure they can feel excluded, invisible and alone. For example, if a person surrenders to peer pressure and takes drugs, then they feel like they fit into the popular crowd and the set image of cool. Basically when it all boils down, everyone just desires to be liked in life. Besides a teenager ingesting drugs of peer pressure, it can also happen because they did not give in. If a person has the will power to go against the crowd then they are often made fun of and can feel isolated. A method to heal such painful feelings is using drugs.

   When a person is a teenager they are at a certain stage in their  where they are vulnerable and feel like trying new things. The second reason why teens turn to drugs is experimentation. One of the most common ways of experimentation is trying drugs. Some other ways include having sex, drinking and smoking. By experimenting  it allows the person to solve the mystery of what it feels like to try such things. Also, by experimenting they can say that they have broken the rules, done something outrageous and what they think to be expressive. At one point in our lives we seem to be the only ones who have not done something; similar to the odd one out. Most of us can say from personal experience that not fitting in is one of the worst feelings that exists. Therefore if a person has done everything , those feelings will never surface. Experimentation is a very natural action, but it can have a negative impact upon our lives. The use of drugs can easily result in an addiction and could change the user as well. Sometimes no matter how much a person changes or what they try, it does not mean that they will automatically be accepted.

   Teenagers spend most of their time arguing and fighting with friends and family. This is considered to be normal. Family situations with abuse, alcoholism and separation can be a difficult way to grow up. Some adolescents in either situation feel as if they are alone and that nobody cares about them or their opinions. Teens deal with such issues in different ways. One of the solutions is to use drugs because it can help them escape reality. A feeling of loneliness and isolation is difficult for an adult to cope with, so for a teen it could lead them to believe that turning to drugs is their only option.

   Why teens turn to drugs will probably always be a mystery to those of us who have never tried them before. Before judging the young people who have tried or are still using drugs, try to remember how it felt to be a teenager. Recall the horrible feelings that made you want to be anybody but you. The changes both physically and emotionally can be overwhelming and unbearable. To label such people, whom we do not even know their reasons for trying drugs, would be wrong. it is similar to that old saying, "Do not judge a person before you walk a mile in their shoes."