Previously on my High School: Drug Abuse research project I did some background research on teenagers and common drug use, and the dangers and risks that come with it. In this post I reference diagrams,graphs, quotes, and statistics that show that using many of these drugs result in brain damage, and sometimes physical damage depending on the drug. In the 2nd blog post I had a 45 minute interview with my Uncles coworker, David Johnson who told me his story and experience with drug use/abuse since he was 12. You can read more about those two posts by clicking here for the 1st one and here for the 2nd.
For my Agent of Change I tried to think about the best way to make a change for my problem which was Teenage Drug Abuse. My logic behind the thinking revolved around me thinking about how I could tell the kids not to try drugs, or become a regular user of drugs, without getting them to do the exact opposite. In my presentation instead of saying do not try or do drugs at the beginning, I instead showed horrific and shocking statistics surrounding the dangers of drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana, and consuming nicotine via smoking and vaping. When the faculty saw these statistics which were fairly recent, in the past decade to be exact that started to think about their own children in their lives as well as the students. I went on to explain how even though at the surface these drugs can be harmless they affect teengers the worse. The reasoning behind this is the developing adolescent brain which could be negatively affected by drugs causing less brain development and lack of skills or traits in certain parts of the brain like the cerebral cortex and the limbic system. While doing this project I felt challenged, but Iḿ glad I was able to complete it, and it brings me joy that the faculty thought it was good enough that they should present to students at Germantown Friends School.
To conclude my series of post, this project was amazing and really made me look at an important topic and help the problem become non-existant. While doing this project I felt like I was making a real contribution to the world and my issue. If I were to do anything differently, I would challenge myself to make even more of a change than I did initially. I think in the bigger picture of Teenage Substance Abuse, there a lot of room for improvement as well as thinks that could be addressed and fixed. This includes clearing the stigma of rehabilitation, encouraging adolescents to speak up about drug use, and any personal problem they may have, and properly educating adolescents about the dangers of drugs.
Life is a Drug
In my first blog post, I did my background research about Teenage Drug Use. In this post I obtained information about teen drug use via databases, websites, charts, and diagrams. While conducting my research I focused on 3 of the most mainstream drugs used amongst teen which included cannabis, cigarettes/juuls, and alcoholic beverages. I conducted several things from my research including susceptibility to addiction, dependency, intrusion on personal life, emotional problems, and a slur of other psychologic.al and physical problems. You can read more in depth about my findings here.
For my original research I interviewed my Uncle’s friend who works at The Juvenile Justice Center who used lots of the drugs I mentioned earlier, and more including pills. This interview opened my eyes and introduced me to some factors of using drugs that I did not think of or imagine. The person’s I interviewed name was David, and he started smoking weed at the age of 12 and shortly after started drinking and smoking cigarettes freshman year. David impregnated his girlfriend he met in high school and became the father to 5 kids, 3 girls and 2 boys by the age of 25. David spent his early days of adulthood in taking pills (xanax) and other opioids such as OxyContin. He continued to smoke weed and cigarette and drink in the midst of the other drugs as well. David spent his life in and out of rehab centers and shelters trying to seek and commit to recovery. David’s girlfriend had cheated on him and this heartbreak is what pushed David to continue using drugs, even while he was in and out of Rehab Centers.
Everytime David found himself finding a better opportunity and bettering himself, he was easily stressed and the drugs were an escape for him, almost his top priority. He would use money for support he received (i.e. food stamps) and sell them for money to purchase drugs. David also suffered from minor depression from struggling to see his kids, lack of happiness, and little support from his family. In his case, drugs were his antidepressants, and it was his only way of keeping sane. Along the way of using and selling drugs, continuing to be in and out of rehab centers and shelters, he was able to find an plumbing job, which was extraordinary considering David was unemployed without a high school diploma. David found this job to be his passion and was very good at it. The only problem that was still present seemed to be his emotional problems and his drug addiction. David was provided and house, helped pay for by the shelter he resided at and started his own plumbing business after 20 years of being a drug addict and practically homeless.
With the acquired knowledge I gained from Mr.David as well as extended research, I still have a few lingering questions, but I have gained a stronger understanding of teenage drug use. What I can infer based on my research is drug use in teenagers is not strictly just to look “cool” of to fit in or to “fit in”, but can be used to help escape reality or as a downtime. For example smoking marijuana and videogames are very similar conceptually.They both release the chemical dopamine, which is the reward hormone in your brain. In addition both of these things are mentally addictive, but is possible to get addicted to both of these things due to the individual. The problem with Teenage Substance Abuse is not just the intake of the drugs some teens may use, but the lack of information they don’t know until later when it’s too late. Drugs also pose a more potent threat when used in the teenage years due to the brain developing in its most critical state and drugs can not only stunt the brain from developing by destroying brain cells, but may pose long term negative effects on the brain depending on how much of a drug you intake. In conclusion what I have conducted from this research is that Teenage Drug Abuse while on the rise of marijuana and nicotine use, the only way to combat this issue is by informing adolescents and children around us not only the danger these drugs can pose, but the all around truth about these drugs, and how to stay safe even if they do try or experiment with varied substances.
Link to my bibliography here.
Link to screenshots here
For my You and the World project I decided to talk about a very serious and life changing thing, and that is drug abuse. According to WebMD Drug abuse is when you use legal or illegal substances in ways you shouldn’t. You might take more than the regular dose of pills or use someone else’s prescription. You may abuse drugs to feel good, ease stress, or avoid reality. But usually, you’re able to change your unhealthy habits or stop using altogether.Many high school students take many risks and tend to try new things and one of those things is drugs. Most high school students use these drugs for recreational use and they do it because of their curiosity or from peer pressure. According to Luxury Rehab Center “Adolescence is a time to try new experiences, take risks and explore new identities. While all of these developmental changes can lead teens in a positive direction, they can also lead to drug abuse if a teenager falls in with the wrong crowd, has a difficult home life or is a victim of trauma. Today many teenagers have easy access to drugs and alcohol, and experimenting with chemical substances doesn’t necessarily mean that a teenager will turn into an addict. However, parents should be alert to the possibility that if a teen’s behavior or personality suddenly changes, drugs may be involved.” While highschool students are subject to try new thing, substance abuse becomes a growing problem when high school students become obsessive over the drug they are using. “Adolescence is a time to try new experiences, take risks and explore new identities”. While all of these developmental changes can lead teens in a positive direction, they can also lead to drug abuse if a teenager falls in with the wrong crowd, has a difficult home life or is a victim of trauma. Today many teenagers have easy access to drugs and alcohol, and experimenting with chemical substances doesn’t necessarily mean that a teenager will turn into an addict. However, parents should be alert to the possibility that if a teen’s behavior or personality suddenly changes, drugs may be involved.” According to a rehab center. Drugs are anything ranging from marijuana and alcohol to harder versions of these substances like vodka and heroin. This information is important to prevent your friends and family from going down the wrong path to losing their social life, inability to keep up academically, lose organization in life, and damage their body in some consequences death.
This issue has affected teens all over the World but mainly the United States. Most drugs change your state of mind to a ‘high” state. This state alters your perception of reality and usually releasing dopamine in the brain which is the feel good hormone in your body which you usually feel when you are rewarded or feel pleasured. According to The Drug Abuse Website sponsored by the government most drugs affect the brain's "reward circuit" by flooding it with the chemical messenger dopamine. This reward system controls the body's ability to feel pleasure and motivates a person to repeat behaviors needed to thrive, such as eating and spending time with loved ones. Teenagers often are willing to take the risk and drawbacks of the drug due to its outstanding positive effect of being high. The most commonly used drugs consumed by adolescents are marijuana, nicotine, and alcohol all of which have been fairly popularized around young adults and adolescents. The real issue with these two powerhouse drugs and more is not if they should be legalized or saying “Don’t do drugs” the real issue is the countless stigmas and false information about these drugs and since most adolescents do not know the real truth and drugs are more like the forbidden fruit adolescents are ambitious enough to try the substances to see what it’s all about. We need to come together and clear the air about drugs before it becomes a bigger problem like drug abuse to prevent teens from harming themselves.
My 1 Google Slide based of my Me Magazine was presented to a group and I received information to make the slide better. Preston told me that instead of my slide being blue and white I should make it all one color. Cameron Jones said that my title should be in the middle and should differentiate from my other caption. The group said I should make my slide more symmetrical and add shapes. I was also told to make my slide more eye catching. Jakob had told me to bleed my pictures to make it look better and I combined all of these suggestions to make a better slide.
The research I did helped me to see what makes a billboard eye catching. I learned that those billboard advertisements worked on me unconsciously and that I should use those strategies to make my slide look good. I used presentation zen especially to really shape up my slide. I applied bleeding the second time around to change the aesthetic to my slide. I also adjusted my color to make the contrast look more pleasing. I learned that when making a slide everything is important and the tiniest mistake can be seen or mess up the whole presentation of the advertisement.
When making the slide I referred to the sources provided. I used Elements of Design Defined, Slide Design, and Presentation Zen. The source I used the most was the Presentation Zen because it served the most useful source to me. The useful information included great details and good visuals that would help guide me while making my slide. The Elements of Design helped me figure out the fundamentals as well as the useful vocab I needed to know.
For my Me Magazine slide I choose 3 pictures with the title of my Me Magazine. I organized my slide to focus the readers on the middle of the slide which was a flower. I touched on nature being important to me so I made it the central point of my slide. To the bottom right of my slide I placed the Apple Music logo because I listen to music on that application very often and I am also very passionate about music. At the bottom left I have a black fist which signifies power and unity for people of color. Being a person of color is important to me so I included a symbol of such. My title for my magazine and for my slide was Complex, because I think that is the best way to describe my person as well as the way I am seen. I designed my slide in a way that represented myself and important elements to my character. Taking this account I made an eye catching slide for people to see.