Q. Do you think teens in our community understand the harm and consequences of drug and alcohol use? And if so, why do they do it?
- No, I do not think that teens in our community fully understand the harm and consequences, and when something happens or they are caught, they are shocked by the consequences.
- I think some understand and just don’t care. Other choose to drink or use drugs because they want to portray a certain image of themselves to their friends – they cave to the pressure.
- Teens today are under a lot of stress and peer pressure and they feel there is nothing or no one for them to turn to -- to handle their problems, so they turn to drugs as an escape.
- Yes, MOST students I talk to are well informed about potential consequences, but I think that many teens in this community just enjoy drinking and drug use and don’t care about the consequences. They don’t think they will get in trouble or they are finding ways to get around the consequences.
- In my opinion, teens don’t understand the consequences because we live in such a privileged community that a lot of times they don’t see anyone who is affected by their drinking or drug use.
- I think it has become popular to just “let it all go” and not care about consequences.
- I think that some teens know and some do not…. The issue is with those that are aware and still choose to do it anyway. I think they do it because they want to have a good time. And I think schools threaten consequences but they never really follow through.
- I don’t think teens care about the harm or consequences. I think they know that serious consequences aren’t always given and they see other people that party and turn out “fine” ….and then they think it’s okay for them as well.
- I don’t think people are aware that you can’t play sports or can be suspended…. because it seems like many schools try to brush off drug and alcohol issues to maintain their reputation.
Q. What do you think is the biggest most impactful consequence a teen can face? And how can we better communicate to teens? To parents?
- College decisions, because that is the most relatable to teens at this point in their life.
- I think that schools should hold forums about the consequences. People just don’t understand an MIP can affect college, jobs, etc.…. And maybe bring people who have gone through substance abuse to reach out and tell their story more.
- I think that having guest speakers talk to parents and students really helps in getting the message across that consequences are real.
- College admissions and finishing high school strong. If they realize these things might not be possible they might rethink their decisions.
- I think the legal consequences are a big factor, but people can generally get out of that. I think health consequences are something that most teens don’t think about/aren’t given concrete information about…. So they aren’t as aware.
- It definitely needs to be better communicated to parents. I don’t really know how to do this because it’s difficult to get parents to events.
Q. What message would you send to teens thinking about or just starting to drink or use drugs?
- To really think about and understand the consequences. And, to go with their natural protective instinct before they choose to do so. Think before you act.
- Just don’t. Nothing is worth it. It’s not worth ruining your life over.
- I want them to know that it will affect them for the rest of their lives. The moment that you decide to take that drink or use that drug, it will most likely be a downhill path from there. Once you start it’s really hard to stop. You can save yourself so much suffering by just making the right choice in the first place.