Pubdate: Wed, 02 Nov 2005
Source: Cochrane Eagle (CN AB)
Copyright: 2005 Cochrane Eagle
Author: Joslynn Boyce
Note: Joslynn Boyce is a Grade 11 student at Bow Valley High school.
Bookmark: (Youth)


We are all faced with many different decisions each day of our lives. 
Whether it is choosing between a bowl of cereal or toast in the morning, or 
possibly deciding between the blue pants or the red shirt.

However, sometimes in life we are faced with more challenging decisions 
that not only impact your day but also your entire life.

During a recent school lunch hour, I attended a presentation in our library 
put on by the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission (AADAC). All 
students were welcome and even encouraged to attend this event.

The presenter began by questioning her audience, asking us what we thought 
the top three drugs used by high school students are. Most of the crowd 
responded with alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana, and according to a survey 
those had been the top three most common drugs used by teenagers, with 
cocaine appearing fourth on the list.

The presenter then switched the discussion to drugs that are becoming more 
popular. Methamphetamine, also known as "crystal meth", was mentioned as a 
drug that is beginning to be a big problem within high schools.

I was shocked when I heard the presenter say this, as crystal meth is a 
very strong drug that I wouldn't expect to be popular within high schools. 
But to my surprise, it has grown to become more common with teenagers, and 
it has recently become a major concern in high schools across the country.

When I look back at middle school, it seemed like the use of drugs wasn't 
such a big concern. Maybe I'm naive, but it didn't seem as though there 
were many students involved in the drug scene.

What a difference four years can make, going from middle school into high 
school. The transition seems to have a great impact on many teenagers. 
Whether it was due to peer pressure, or personal choice, some students 
unfortunately made the choice to alter their lifestyle by means of 
substance abuse.

With drugs comes change in one's personality and general attitude, which in 
turn affects the rest of their life.

Some people would disagree with the fact that drugs are a large concern 
with teenagers in Cochrane. They feel that drug use is uncommon within our 
community and there is no reason to express concern towards this issue.

However, this is not the case and it is unfortunate how popular drugs have 

But who am I to make the decision for other people? All I can do is make 
the right decision for myself. All I can say is, you are given that choice 
and only you can decide which path you want to take.

I am always available if my friends ever needed someone to talk to, and 
that's a step that we can all take - be there, be a friend.

Joslynn Boyce is a Grade 11 student at Bow Valley High school.
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