Drug Use at Dulaney: A Negative Narrative

Jackie Sibila, Editor

Teen drug use and abuse is a nationwide issue that has not escaped Dulaney High School. Recently, bathrooms have been locked due to smoking, among other things, and an occasional heavy cloud of marijuana has not escaped the notice of students, faculty and staff. It is easy to draw conclusions about teens using drugs; however, the issue is not as superficial as it might seem. 

 According to a recent survey of 86 Dulaney students, 14 percent of those students reported having ever used illegal drugs. In addition, 41.9 percent of the students surveyed reported having friends who participate in illegal drug use. But how does this compare to the rest of the teen world? 

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 40 percent of high school students have reported having tried cigarettes and around 50 percent have reported having tried marijuana. While the most recent Griffin survey indicated that the students who use drugs are not the majority at DHS, in the United States as a whole, the amount of teens who have participated in drug use reflects a much larger proportion of teens.   

That leads to the question, why do teens in the United States and at Dulaney High School use drugs? According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, many teens use drugs to fit in or to alleviate stress-related disorders or depression. When it came to why the small number of students who actually use drugs, use drugs, the results demonstrated a frightening narrative. Most agreed that peer pressure, emotional reasons/mental health issues, boredom and/or fun dictate why they use drugs. One student even cited school as a reason they participated in drug use. 

“The main reason [for using drugs] is because of school, since you guys chose to also take our home hours away by sending us home by three, expecting two hours of studying and homework, PLUS outside activities. Drugs help give me an actual break and clear my mind,” said one anonymous student.

It’s also important to note that the majority of students, precisely 73.3 percent, feel like drug use has a negative impact on the Dulaney community. 

Put plainly, one student says, “I hate to see people do it.”

Drug use impacts both individuals and the community in negative ways. It harms everyone involved, whether they are the user or bystanders. That much is clear with the consequences the Dulaney admin has enforced. Everyone should be encouraged to stay away from harmful substances. However, help is always available if needed, from the school or other resources such as the ones listed below. 


SAMHSA helpline: https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline 

National Drug Helpline: https://drughelpline.org/ 

Maryland Drug and Alcohol helpline: https://drughelpline.org/maryland/ 

Alcohol and Drug Addiction hotlines: https://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/alcohol-drug-hotline