Hayley’s Hot Topic: Consequences outweigh ‘fun’

Hayley Tomich ‘14
Opinions Editor

 

A high school senior walks into one of his classmate’s houses carrying a fifth of alcohol. He high-fives his friends as they offer him a joint to smoke. The house starts to fill with people and the music grows louder and louder. As the night progresses, words became slurred and vision becomes blurred. Ping pong balls are being thrown into red Solo cups as the students cheered each other on. The students are unaware of the phone calls being made to the local police station from neighbors regarding the noise.
One hour later, four policemen knocked on the door knowing that the students were celebrating their football team’s victory. The policemen ushered those under the influence to one side of the room and the sober students to the other. The teens were asked to empty their pockets and reveal the contents of them. Fear and anxiety raced across the students’ faces as they worried about what would happen to them.
This story may seem extreme to some people; however, it is the reality for a large number of high school students. It is very common for high school students to experiment with drugs and alcohol because in reality, and sadly it is less common for students to not experiment with drugs and alcohol.
The question isn’t why teens drink underage or use illegal drugs, but is it really worth it? In order to answer this question, I must first ask myself why students party in the first place.
It is one thing to take a sip of alcohol at a party, but I feel that is a completely different story to feel the need to party every weekend in order to consider it a “good” one. I believe the reason students start to drink underage in the first place is to simply look cool in front of their peers.
People who need to be under the influence of any type of drug (yes, alcohol is considered a drug) to have a good time have merely fallen into the trap that is high school peer pressure. Students feel pressured to try alcohol because they don’t want to look like a baby or a “goody two-shoes” in front of their classmates. My advice to those people who have been peer-pressured into trying drugs or alcohol: only do what you feel comfortable doing! If you don’t want to drink alcohol, simply say no and move on. It seems just a little bit ridiculous to risk severe consequences just to be liked by your peers, who, might I add, probably aren’t very good friends if they try to convince you to do something you aren’t comfortable with.
Not only do students feel pressured to try drugs but also the consequences of abusing those drugs can be severe. It amazes me that the people who abuse dangerous drugs can do so without thinking that they could die from using those substances.
I’ve heard stories about people going to the hospital because they were so drunk that they were choking on their own vomit. This same person was tested at the hospital and found to be three times over the legal limit of intoxication. This person was lucky enough not to die from the amount of alcohol they consumed in one night.
It is honestly frightening to me that a 17-year-old could consume so much alcohol and not realize what they were putting into their body. The problem with students abusing drugs is that people do not understand when enough is enough.
Some might think that a near-death experience is enough to make a student realize how dangerous their behavior is, but that might not be the case for others. If a student under the age of 21 is caught with a container of alcohol, he or she could be issued an MIP (a charge of minor in possession). This MIP will stay with a student for their entire lives. What college or business is going to want a young adult with an MIP on his or her record associated with their institution? I can’t imagine too many would.
So, this brings me back to my original question: is using drugs really worth it? If you can’t tell by the tone of my argument thus far, I would answer that question by saying no.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that partying is all it is cracked up to be. The consequences of one bad night completely outweigh the supposed “fun” of abusing alcohol and other illegal substances.