How substance abuse is impacting Rangeview

Feature Photo By: Brooklyn Dolan – Sophomore Devany De La Torre Hernandez reads an article about rapper Mac Miller’s death. Mac Miller died on September 7th, 2018, and was presumed dead because of a drug overdose.

By: Brooklyn Dolan, Review Staff

On Friday, September 7th, rapper Malcolm James McCormick (Mac Miller), was found unresponsive in his home and pronounced dead at age 26. While the official cause of death is undetermined, authorities speculate it was an apparent drug overdose.

On September 3rd, four days before his death, he released his new album named “Swimming.” This album consists of thirteen songs; five or fewer of which make mention to several types of substance abuse that ranged from alcohol to drugs.

Many believe that Mac Miller was a very influential artist who changed the lives of many other artists, including Snoop Dogg, but also the lives of thousands of his fans.

Although many teens looked at Mac Miller’s death as a very tragic and sad event, it brings up the problem of how drug and substance abuse have increased in recent years.

“As a teacher, I put my heart and soul into teaching my students a content that gives them something to grasp, something to be interested in and to spend their time focusing on,” said an art teacher at Rangeview, Mrs. Ryan. “I tell my students every Friday that I love them and to make good choices and I hope that it resonates, but I know it isn’t enough.”

In Colorado, marijuana is a legal drug to adults; it is very accessible for many adults and teens as well. Not only is it legal, but it is very popular in pop-culture today. Marijuana not only seen being used by people involved in pop-culture, but it is mentioned in pop-culture as well. Many artists, including Mac Miller, mentioned drug use in their music and many people think that this could be one of the many causes for teenagers who are involved in drugs.

Behind Rangeview near the tracks, (Telluride street) there are cigarette butts that you can usually find near the rocks. During the day, many students will go outside and smoke cigarettes, or do drugs (Brooklyn Dolan).

Junior Jenin Al Shaer said, “I don’t think there’s a way to reduce drug use because marijuana is legal and there’s many ways to get the product.”

She expressed her views that a main cause for drug use could be due to availability, and accessibility to many teens, even if they technically are not supposed to be doing them.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the highest increase in drug overdose deaths in the U.S. happened between 2002 and 2017. This shows that during the time period when marijuana was legalized, there was a rise in the amount of drug-related deaths. Also in 2017, there were an estimated 72,000 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. This number of drug overdose deaths is increasing more every year.

Sophomore Devany De La Torre Hernandez said, “There are many ways to get people to stop [doing drugs], but it would be hard and take a long time.”

This statement is supportive of the 72,000 deaths last year, and the obvious increase in drug-use that has lead to the overdoses. While many steps are being taken to try and reduce drug use, the large efforts are obviously not very effective. More must be done in order to make a large impact on the people who are doing drugs.

With all of the teens who are drinking, smoking, and doing drugs, even after getting an extended education about it, substance abuse is a problem that affects more than just the people who abuse the substances.

It also has a large effect on their family, friends, and supporters, like Mac Miller’s fans, who were looking forward to how he would be doing in the future. Mac Miller’s life was taken by drugs at a young age, and it is going to continue happening if society doesn’t make changes.

The number of people who do drugs is increasing, and it cannot be blamed on Mac Miller and his music. But many people would say that pop-culture, and all of its mention of drug abuse does increase substance abuse in young people today.

Drug abuse is a problem all over within society, and many people say that it is very present in the Rangeview community. At Rangeview, administration does try to prevent students from partaking in drug use by having people like deans make sure that students are not doing drugs. Rangeview raises awareness of the issues that come with doing drugs, and there are consequences for students who are caught doing drugs on campus.   

Many people say that it is obvious to them that drugs are an increasing problem within society today — so what are we going to do about it?

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