Increased drug overdose deaths


Recently, the United States has hit its highest number of recorded drug-overdose deaths in a single year. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recorded over 100,000 overdose deaths. Since the coronavirus pandemic, drug-related deaths have increased dramatically. As sad as this reality is, it’s still happening every day, and something must be done. People are losing mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, and friends every single day from drug overdoses.

Many of these overdose deaths are mainly fueled by fentanyl, which accounts for about ¾ of the deaths through April. The intensifying Opioid crisis has caused over 93,330 deaths just in 2020. Many people have turned to drugs more since the pandemic has started, presumably due to the lack of resources during COVID.

Another concerning factor in this issue is the number of teenage deaths that is occurring from drugs. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports over 4,777 teenage deaths from drugs in 2019. High schoolers in our area have not only experimented with drugs, but become addicted as well and sadly, some in our community have lost their lives from overdoses.

Common reasons teens abuse or experiment with drugs include:

  • Curiosity
  • Peer pressure
  • Stress
  • A desire to escape


It’s not enough for us students to avoid experimenting with drugs and trying to stop already started addictions but must also do our part to help our friends and family stop this bad habit as well. I know that as high schoolers, many may feel invincible. Many think that these drug-overdose deaths can’t happen to them. Many think that they only live once and just want to enjoy it while they can. But the reality is that:

  • It can happen to you and those you love
  • Drug addiction and experimentation can have devastating consequences
  • It’s not worth it

If you think that someone you care about is misusing drugs, the best thing you can do is attempt to talk to them about it. Contacting their parents is a great start as well. The decisions that high schoolers make when they are young, end up effecting their entire lives and has the potential of awful life-long consequences. Things you can look for in friends and family is:

  • Bad grades
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Laughing for no reason
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Poor hygiene
  • Diminished personal appearance
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Frequent hunger or “munchies”
  • Smell of smoke on breath or clothes
  • Secretive behavior
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Missing curfew

I understand that drugs can seem like fun, especially if you are being pressured into trying them. But I can promise you, its not worth it. Once you firsthand experience the consequences or if you see someone close to you slowly ruining or losing their life, you realize it’s not worth it. From personal experience, seeing someone very close to me overdose, when I was a little kid, really engraved in me how important it is to NEVER start problems like those. You realize that you never want to be the person on the bathroom floor, struggling for air, black and blue. You don’t want to be in the position where you hurt your entire family to get the money to feed your addiction. And you don’t want the habit to continue escalating. Soon enough, if you’re not dead, you’re selling and helping ruin other peoples lives by giving them resources to feed their addictions as well. Lots of teenagers who start experimenting early in life, end up in juvie, jail, or prison on a regular basis. I know that’s not a life any high schooler wants to live in their future.