In this essay I am going to argue that, it is not possible to prevent teenagers or school pupils using drugs. Drugs are an intensifying problem in Northern Ireland today. Teenagers of every race, colour and religion are being persuaded to try, take or buy drugs. Drugs are becoming more popular among adolescent society; we have to consider if we do not stop drug use among teenagers, what will the long-term effects holds for them?

I feel school pupils take drugs in order to feel a sense of identity and respect; peer pressure is the primary factor in drug use. Drug users encourage friends to purchase or try drugs. This then leads to security of being part of the crowd, if they don’t like taking drugs they still feel the pressure to impress their friends.

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Sixteen thousand pupils were questioned and a scarcely seventy two percent thought that cannabis use was totally safe and only twenty eight percent were aware of any harmful effects, such as cannabis is as addictive as a class A drug such as heroin, speed or cocaine. These shocking statistics indicate that teenagers are not aware of the consequences of drug abuse.

Schools are addressing this problem and there have been a lot of attempts by schools to stop pupils and teenagers taking drugs. For example personal and social education classes discuss topics such as drugs. However as a school pupil I think that they should take more time to explain drugs and how it affects a persons life. English classes look at real life stores in newspaper articles about drug use. In drama real life scenes are acted in order to alert teenagers about the dangers. Science classes also discuss and present facts in a very unbiased manner.

However it still does not prevent teenagers from taking them. I think police officers should come into schools more often to talk about real life dramas and what has happened to teenagers in the past by drug use. Cannabis users are sixty times more likely to go on to heavier drugs such as speed. I think we should encourage police into schools to talk about the real life facts and to present the legal issues.

Teachers should also be more aware of the side affects of drugs. There should be teacher and parents awareness booklets regarding drugs in local places such as, supermarkets. Teachers are trained to recognize the signs of drug use among teenagers. I think that the government should supply drug awareness meetings.

Teenagers are the most vulnerable targets for drug suppliers. Stress of exam pressures is another issue for teenagers, drugs makes them feel more relaxed about the situations of life. Failure and loneliness makes teenagers turn to drugs for comfort. Wealthy schools are the most targeted because parents are wealthier therefore their children can sustain larger amounts of money.

A recent survey by the School Health Education Unit showed that the number of girl’s ages fourteen and fifteen who have tried or continually take cannabis has extended from eighteen percent in 1998 to over twenty-five percent last year. How far are we prepared to let this dilemma go? Where do we draw the line, if we let this dilemma grow we are going to encounter the drug suppliers targeting primary school. Following alcohol cannabis is the most popular drug with youth today.

There are lots more types of drugs that are heavily used in Northern Ireland such as speed and ecstasy. Ecstasy casually known as E’s, it is a drug normally associated in clubs. The effect begins after twenty minutes and last for several hours. The effects of this drug are heightened perception of colour and sound, accompanied by a sweeten loss of appetite, then a rise in the heart rate and blood pressure, stiffness also occurs in the arms, legs and jaw. Taking speed on regular bases can cause long-term brain damage.

Some of the same chemicals that case the “high” feeling can also have negative affects on the brain such as memory loss, paranoia and hallucinations. Long-term effects can be worse, than short-term effects. The latest research findings show that cannabis, which is smoked by fifteen-year-olds, are younger developers of depression and schizophrenia as early as the age of twenty. Cannabis cigarette known as joints contains fifty percent more cancer casing agents than tobacco.

There has been a national campaign in Northern Ireland to increase the awareness among parents and their children of the danger of drugs. They have done such things as advertisements on the television about solvent abuse.

On the other hand cannabis is obviously not as deadly as everyone thinks it is, as the government has plans to downgrade it from a class B drug to a class C. in sugar magazine it published that cannabis is less harmful than alcohol. Pro-legalization groups argue that cannabis can be used to help people. For example it could be used in hospitals to ease pain or even help people with eating disorders.

After looking at both sides of the argument in detail, I still believe that it is impossible to prevent drug use in school today. However I do believe that it is possible for teenagers to get help in order to solve their drug problems.