IS WPHS ADDRESSING THE DRUG ISSUES CORRECTLY?

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Emilie Wipprecht, Reporter

It is no doubt that the population of students at Woodland Park High School have faced the matter of drugs throughout our school. The percentage of teens who said they have personally been a part of illegal drug distribution, usage or sale on school grounds has increased from 44% to 61% since 2012.  Marijuana usage has jumped from 16% to 25%, since amendment 64 legalized marijuana for anyone over the age of 21 at certain retail stores (NBC on Addictions). Certainly students at WPHS have seen a variety of drugs in our community, but is our administration properly addressing the drug dispute correctly? Over the past year our school has attended classes, assemblies, and staff lectures about the marijuana problem. But what about the more difficult drug issues floating throughout our school, like heroine? Is WPHS taking that seriously?

The majority of Woodland Park has seen the issue of heroine rise into more of a problem than originally anticipated. One might readily argue that Woodland Park’s heroine difficulty has blown out of proportion and has been a major setback throughout our growing city. One might also add that the issue has made its way into WPHS effecting students’ lives with an immensely negative impact.

As a student at WPHS I believe it is fair to say that the greater part of the student body would attest to personally witnessing heroine ruin the lives’ of friends, family and loved ones. I also trust the majority of students would agree that staff and administration have been targeting the wrong problems. Over the past months WPHS staff has spent a lengthy amount of time addressing and educating the ongoing “issue” of marijuana throughout our school, but where the real problem lies is in the widespread wave of heroine usage. Why hasn’t this affair been made as serious as weed?

“The heroine issues are not obvious, they just aren’t presenting themselves,” says Officer Ryan Koski.  “We are not able to investigate this dispute if we aren’t informed. That’s why it’s so incredibly important for students to report anything they see. If you know something, speak up.”

To help the current issue of marijuana our administration has gone through our Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program (D.A.R.E) and set up assemblies, classes, and counseling to educate our school about marijuana problem, but what has WPHS done to address our heroine problem? What about educating and informing students about the seriousness of heroine, in the way they are with marijuana? Why hasn’t WPHS admin taken action on that?

“It’s the simple matter of money,” campus Officer Sean Goings states. “We have enough money in state funding to sit here and talk about weed all day. If we knew more information or had more funding we would obviously be addressing the heroine issue straightforwardly.”

After surveying the majority of the student body, students believed that 20-30 of our students distribute heroin on school grounds, and said a family member or themselves have used heroine before. The same survey showed that students believe heroine is a more severe issue than marijuana at WPHS.

“I’d say at least 20% of our students use or distribute heroin, “says junior Mac McClintonck. “Woodland Park is wasting their funds trying to fix a problem that will never be solved; weed. How about using that money towards the more serious issues like heroine. I lost my cousin to heroine this summer; it is such a serious issue that’s not being taken seriously. Staff and administration have no idea what’s going on with other drugs because they’re too focused on marijuana.”

“WPHS has turned weed into an absolute joke,” an anonymous student states. “Sure all these assemblies are cool and a fun distraction, but marijuana has just been turned into the laughing stalk at this school. Heroine and other drugs are serious issues that people are making a joke out of because our administration has made kids believe its okay to clown around about all of this. Therefore kids are going to joke around about heroine as well.  How about setting up assemblies like Rachel’s Challenge or Drive Smart to get it through our student’s heads that this isn’t okay?”

This subject is obviously very sensitive for our peers to address; a great deal of students have personally been affected from the decisions of their friends, resulting in a loss of friendships to heroine.

Throughout the past month the team of WPHS journalists and myself have investigated ongoing problems of drug use slithering their way into our school. During the process we have gathered enough information from admin, our campus officers, and our peers to grasp the idea that heroine has overridden the problem of marijuana. Obviously WPHS efforts are noble, but ultimately misguided. In conclusion time and efforts are wasted focusing on marijuana when the real issue lies in the student veins instead.

 

 

“Teen High School Drug Issue Getting Worse.” NBC News. Addictions, Aug.-Sept. 2015. Web.