Life Skills: Addicted to Addiction 8


Elaine Tong

Life skills are crucial to learning, hence the definition: “a skill that is necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life.”

As of now, students are exploring Life Skills. These lessons are designed to teach about major safety concerns and the decisions students make and where they can be wrongly influenced by peers and society.

But sometimes, the students do not realize the importance of taking out time from their learning course to learn about these skills and how real the dangers really are.

After winter break, teachers typically begin their lessons on Life Skills. Within these lessons, students learn information about drug use and abuse and other topics.

But how exactly does this relate to the students’ life?

To start off, drug abuse happens more often than some think. In a 2013 SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration) survey, the results were estimated to have about 24.6 million Americans, aged 12 or older (9.4% of the population), who had used an illegal drug within the month the survey was conducted.

Drug abuse does is not only limited to street drugs, but it also expands to a prescribed medicine, alcohol, tobacco, and cigarettes. As a matter of fact, patients may become addicted to the side effects of prescribed medicine, which ironically was given to them by doctors, themselves.

Drinking alcohol could also become an addictive routine which it harms the liver and even brain cells.

Cigarettes, on the other hand, can cause one to develop lung cancer. Smoking cigarettes and using tobacco can become addictive as they both contain nicotine, which is a highly-addictive substance. Nicotine is a stimulant that increases heart rate, therefore shrinking blood vessels and overworking the heart. As students learned in Life Skills, it is considered drug abuse once the body cannot function without it. But just because one’s body has not reached the drug abuse stage, does not mean it is safe to start, healthwise.   

In fact, data from Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) in 2008 stated 1.8 million admissions for alcohol and drug abuse treatment to reporting facilities to State administrative data systems. According to this information, 41.4% treatment submissions involved alcohol abuse.

As stated earlier, drug abuse is not only centered around street drugs. Other daily products that people, including students, use and drink can be considered a drug. A prime example is coffee and sugar.  A drug’s appearance can be fooling, but the appearance is inconsequential when it comes to the consequential danger that follows its use.

By definition, a drug is something that alters the mind. In the case of coffee, it stimulates the brain to provide an energized and awakened feeling with caffeine, which is a drug itself.

Sugar is also considered an addiction. Having an addiction to sugar is supposedly as hard to remove as an addiction to cigarettes. This addiction can lead to obesity and diabetes. (If you want to read more on this, check out another article on Cougar Chronicle titled “Oh, That’s… Not So Sweet”, and leave feedback.)

These drugs can potentially cause a drug addicted user to lose their families, friends, homes, and in worse cases, their lives.

Now, some students may still question: But how exactly does this help me?

In fact, instilling the facts that drugs are dangerous to students lowers the risk of raising a generation that would turn to drugs. These lessons can also provide students with proper guidance and instruction in a scenario where drug use is involved. Peer pressure into doing something unwanted can actually be the straw to start a prolonged addiction.

With Life Skills, students will know better how to act if this situation unfolds before them. Learning of the physical and emotional effects of these drugs is also essential for students, so they understand the dangers that they pose. Being shown examples of real drug experiences so students can understand the connection between the threat of drugs and real living people, makes the lesson much more real and even more serious.  

These mandatory lessons teach students how to maintain their body’s physical and mental health by avoiding harmful substances that come with many dangers and side effects. But along with these lessons, they teach students that the risks far outweigh the benefits, which are little to zero.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s