(COVINGTON, La.) — Illegal drugs have been a major problem for years now. Unfortunately, drugs have gained popularity in the lives of children and young adults all over the world. According to the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, 43.7% of teens have or currently use drugs.
“Any school that says they don’t have a drug issue is not being completely upfront,” St. Paul’s President Bro. Ray Bulliard, FSC, said, “because it’s pervasive in all aspects of society.”
St. Paul’s is doing many things to combat the growth of drugs on campus. Frequent drug awareness presentations will teach students the dangers of drugs, drug dogs will often be on campus, and drug tests have and will be in action. The fight on drugs is a hard one, but St. Paul’s will not give up on what they feel is their duty.
“St. Paul’s takes seriously its obligation to both monitor and educate our students about the increase in drug use that’s going on throughout the country,” Bro. Ray said.
Succumbing to drug use could alter one’s future for the worse. Close to 200,000 are killed by drug use and abuse per year, not to mention the criminal punishment one may receive for participating in the usage of drugs. From 1980 to 2008, the number of people incarcerated in America quadrupled from roughly 500,000 to 2.3 million people.
“I don’t see the appeal in any drug use whatsoever,” junior Cameron Meyers said. “It ruins your health and your future.”
School policy towards drug use involves random and “for cause” drug testing, which resumed earlier this school year. The school received results from the initial batch of tests last week. Students who tested positive receive a reference for drug counseling. A second test will be administered in 100 days after the initial positive test. Positive results on the second test will result in disciplinary action.
The St. Paul’s counseling center encourages students to think about both the immediate and long-lasting negative effects that any drug use can have on a student’s life.
“Educate yourself on the consequences and the side effects,” senior counselor Renee Miller said, “because I think a lot of times teenagers think, ‘Oh, I could do this once, and it won’t matter.’”