My top 10 reasons why I choose to stay drug-free as a teenager.

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By Addyson Porter, Logan High School

Many people, especially teenagers, will turn to drugs at some point in their life. Whether it is to try something new, distract from pain or trauma, or any other reason that may persuade a young person to try drugs, they are incredibly harmful. I have seen many lives ruined by the horrors of addiction. To me, it is not worth all of the damage, heartache, anxiety and pain. Addiction does not only impact the addict, it also impacts everyone around them. I know this all too well. As a result, I have compiled a list of my top 10 reasons why I choose to stay drug-free as a teenager.

1. I have had multiple family members die from an overdose within the last 12 months alone. This is enough to keep me away from drugs. I have seen how quickly their addictions spiraled, so I would never want to subject myself to that suffering.

2. It is so expensive. As addiction progresses, it would take more and more to get any sort of high. These expenses would quickly pile up. Many addicts are also unable to hold steady careers, so it would also be very difficult to get the money for drugs. This would then lead to either withdrawal, crime, or any other possible means of finding money. It is just not worth all of the trouble.

3. I do not want drugs to ruin my chances of having a good future, academically, career-wise and with my future family. I have big dreams for my future. I always have wanted to grow up and be successful, just as most people have. I would not want to throw all of those dreams away for drugs.

4. My family, friends, and mentors would not approve. They would all be immensely disappointed in me. Knowing that I let everyone down would utterly destroy me. I could never live with myself.

5. I do not want any substance to have that much control over me. It would be embarrassing to have to miss out on time with my family and friends due to my addiction. It is crazy to think that a substance could dictate every single aspect of my life. That is a terrifying thought.

6. I already have enough going on in my life, so I do not have the mental capacity to worry about having a constant supply of drugs on me. Between my friends, school, extracurricular activities and everything else that I am involved in, I simply do not have time for an addiction. That would only add even more stress to my life, and I cannot handle it.

7. It would be so risky to do drugs. You could easily get caught, get robbed or die. Many addicts would do anything to get their fix, even if it means putting themselves in danger time and time again. I have never been a daring person, so I am just not built for a life riddled with addiction, fear and daily risks.

8. I have seen first-hand how badly drugs can tear families apart. I could never live with myself if I knew that I put my loved ones through that. Both of my personal experiences and the experiences of my close friends as a result of a loved one being addicted to drugs has demonstrated why it is always best to abstain from them. Drugs truly rip families apart. I could never handle the guilt of knowing that I am causing my family to suffer as a result of my own selfishness.

9. Drugs destroy your body, both physically and internally. Many of these damages are irreversible, or otherwise extremely expensive to correct. Why would I put myself through that when I could just avoid it? Destroying my body, mind, reputation and life in every possible way is not worth any high that could come from any drug.

10. Drugs are very, very common in my hometown. I want to do everything in my power to break the stereotype. I do not want to end up like so many others in my town. It may be selfish, but I cannot let myself fall into the addiction that I grew up seeing.

I know it is corny. I know the phrase has been said to you so many times that it has lost its meaning. However, please stay away from drugs. Your life is worth too much to just throw it away without a second thought. A high is not worth all of the pain and danger of addiction.

As someone who has had many people close to me overdose, many of which died, you do not understand how horribly it would impact those around you. Even the other students in your school would be affected. You are better than that. Do not let the temptation or promise of “a good time” lead you into a life that you never deserved.

Do not do drugs. It just is not worth it, genuinely.

This piece was written for FlipSide, the Charleston Gazette-Mail’s teen publication. You can read more stories written by teens for teens

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