Pubdate: Mon, 19 Nov 2007
Source: Huntsville Times (AL)
Copyright: 2007 The Huntsville Times


Users Often Hurt Many Morethan Themselves

Usually, people have connotations about Catholic high schools that
generally fall somewhere between nuns with rulers and skirts with knee-highs.

These assumptions have a nasty habit of separating students in these
schools from those in public or other private institutions. And yet,
Catholic high school students suffer the same temptations and pitfalls
as any other student. Our schools just get to use religion as a way to
explain the moral consequences of our actions.

Drug abuse continues to be a problem with high school students.
According to a study done by CNN, the percentage of students who
attend a high school where they have witnessed the use, sale or
possession of illegal drugs or have tried them personally has risen
from 44 percent to 61 percent in the last five years.

Most researchers who have studied teen drug abuse have determined
teens use illicit substances as a coping mechanism, "just for the
experience" and because of peer pressure.

But what teens outside religious schools may not hear is their abuse
affects more than just them. At Catholic High, we are taught in our
religion classes that each action reverberates throughout the
community. If you're doing drugs, the damage you're doing to yourself
affects your parents, your friends, your schoolwork, your reputation.

We're taught every aspect of our life touches another human being on
their life journey. Whatever situation inspires teens to take up
drugs, it often causes them to become very self-centered.

While marijuana remains the drug most abused by teens, many branch out
to more "serious" drugs such as speed, acid and cocaine. Cocaine
prices are nearly $36,000 per kilo in the United States, according to
research done by

So how are teens getting the money for this? According to more
studies, most teens steal to pay for drugs, another example of the way
teens who abuse drugs tend to think primarily of themselves.

Perhaps what teens really need to hear is their offenses hurt more
than just themselves. Their actions hurt the people who love them most.

Teaching love of self and neighbor might do more than current
politically-correct approaches have accomplished.
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