In a friend’s back yard, at the age of 14, Anna Henley had her first encounter with drugs and became part of the 60 percent of young Americans who use drugs in their lifetime, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
“It becomes all you think about and you just want to have more,” Henley, a freshman majoring in education at Tyler Junior College said. “It was more of a peer pressure thing; you know, everyone was doing it so I thought ‘okay well let me do it too’.”
Marijuana, popular among college students and better known as weed, Meth (Crystal methamphetamine), LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide), alcohol, heroin and cocaine are just some of the preferred and most abused drugs in the nation. Drugs offer its consumer a temporary fix or escape from the social realities of everyday living. Which, according to Dr. Otis Webster, psychology professor at TJC, is behind today’s drug infested society, forming a new behavior.
“We are busy creating a drug infested society, and it’s gotten to the place where it’s normal everyday behavior,” Dr. Webster said. “Anything that can help them escape social realities, and drugs do that.”

These new norms are shaping the law, altering the nations’ customs. The ripple effect of accepting drug usage has reached states like Washington and Colorado. Although drugs like marijuana are now legal for recreational use, colleges and universities in those states do not allow the legalized drug marijuana to be used on campus because of fear of being cut off from federal funding.
“You live in a society where the closes people to you are all using drugs. Some are selling it, some are using it, and they abuse it. You wouldn’t see any wrong in it. By the time you realize it, you are dead,” said Yaya Fatty, freshmen majoring in Criminal Justice at TJC.
marijuana_leaf
One hundred people die from drug overdoses every day in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As Henley’s closes friends sunk deeper into the addictive cycle of stronger drugs, she found courage in God to quit before it was too late. Unfortunately, other classmates from her school were not as fortunate, and died of drug overdose.
“It’s heart breaking that people joke about it and say ‘oh you know it’s not addicting or anything’ cause it does alternate your lifestyle,” said Henley.
Another popular drug among college students is Adderall, which is used in order to enhance academic performance. Adderall and other similar prescribed medicines are given to those with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But with easy availability, it has fallen into the hands of students who are looking for a boost of energy and focus, after a night of binge drinking or in some cases a 12-hour work shift in order to stay “sharp” for the next class.
“We want a pill to put us to sleep and a pill to wake us up,” Dr. Webster said. “We are busy creating a drug-infested society, and it’s gotten to the place where it’s normal everyday behavior.”
This wave of prescription drug usage is the new “Red Bull” sensation among college students, according to an article from the Huffington Post. Some may call it cheating at life’s balance but with its convincing promise of helping the brain perform better many users give little thought to the consequences. The powerful drug, Adderall, can seem harmless but it can lead addicts to cocaine or morphine.
“The more you stay involved in drugs or alcohol… The deeper you become involved in it. You lose all that inner vision,” said Erik Broughton, counselor for Live and Kicking Winners Circle of Tyler and graduate from TJC. “Remember the promise drugs and alcohol give, is death and it will fulfill those promises.”
Although alcohol continues to be a favorite substance for college students, drug usage like marijuana is increasing. In the most recent statistics dated 2011 from the ages of 18 to 20, 38.7 percent use drugs, from ages 21 to 25 32.9 percent and from the age of 26 to 34, 2 percent. The use of marijuana rose to 2 percent from 2010 to 2011, according to National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
Broughton became an addict in his late 20s or early 30s and admits crossing the line from causal user on the weekends to the fast lane of the night life that pushed him into dependence on cocaine. Like others, his addiction removed his family, friends and stole his live hood.
“I wanted to be what we call hip, cool, it was the thing to do,” Broughton said. “I started drinking in high school, so one thing lead to another. The drugs I really got involved with were Marijuana; I tried a lot of things. Cocaine was my true down fall.”
Unlike the tragic ending of most addicts, Broughton was given a second chance that he says he owes his higher power, God, all to. He took this opportunity to live the way he had always dreamed of, even as a child. The opportunity didn’t only keep him in the right direction but he was able to help others out of abusive drugs and living towards the path of a drug free lifestyle.
Now he reaches out to those who are in a struggle with addiction, using his own testimony to reveal the dark side of abusing drugs.
“The only thing you want to do is what your drug tells you. Your drug says jump, you say how high. Because it has control over you, you don’t have control over it anymore. (That’s) when you cross that line over to addiction,” said Broughton.
For those who feel trapped in the vicious cycle of drug use, the first step is to reach out to a support group. There are local groups like, Live and Kicking Winners Circle whose mission is changing and saving lives. Also TJCs’ counseling services on the third floor of Rogers Student Center or professors like Dr. Webster whose office hours are open for all students. The key is in taking the initiative to make a change.
“There’s hope,” Henley said. “There are people there that have been through it. That understands even if you think there is no one. You’re not alone.”

Story by: Belen Casillas

8 COMMENTS

  1. Everything on this website is upside down. First, don’t compare weed to meth. Ever. You can’t put all drugs in a mixing pot because the Government and TV tell you to.

    Do you know why most drugs are illegal expect for alcohol?

    Private Prisons. 50% of all crime is drug related. The US has over 2.3 million prisoners currently. That’s the highest in the world. It costs billions of dollars a year to hold these prisons with US tax dollars. All of this is a huge scam. Just like the Central Banking system in America.

    Hey by the way, do you remember someone named Al Capone? How did he come about exactly? How did the Mexican Cartels come up exactly? The only reason the Mexican Cartels exist is because of the prohibition of Cannabis. Too bad you don’t see Mexicans being butchered on the border. No, that’s not part of our culture or reality.

    Furthermore, Belen? Is that your name? You do know that Cannabis has been used as a medicine for over 2000 thousand years on record, and it’s never killed a single person in an overdose. It is impossible to overdose on weed.

    But wait!!!! What two drugs combined cause more then 400,000 deaths a year!!?!?!?! Wait…. think hard now… you see it in advertising.. you see sexy girls pouring it down their bikini bathing suits, (get yourself a Busch!) And you see a camel smoking one!!!

    Ding Ding Ding!!!!

    Alcohol and Tobacco cause more deaths than all illegal drugs combined. Oh wait, I forget one too, PRESCRIPTION DRUGS!!!!

    Hey you look depressed! Take some of these SSRI’s; side effects include losing yourself and some cases even turning you into a brain dead zombie that could even lead to extreme violent behavior.

    This classic case of putting Cannabis and other natural growing plants like Psilocybin mushrooms into a giant mixing pot with Meth, Prescription drugs and Alcohol is pure ignorance. And the fact that two drugs like Alcohol and Tobacco, two drugs that do nothing for you, are legal, and the fact that drugs like Weed and psilocybin mushrooms, two drugs that make you realize how upside down everything is and how your being screwed over every day are… illegal. Gee, coincidence? MAYBE.

    Anyway this is getting long but I want to sum up my point. There’s a reason why Cannabis has been made legal for medical use in over 13 states. It helps people. And now scientists are discovering the properties in Cannabis (which they couldn’t study before) have magnificent healing benefits, even to the point of reducing tumor growth in cancer patients.

    You also don’t even have to get high to receive the medical benefits. You can simply extract cannabidiol (CBD) from Cannabis. A property that has been now studied because of legalization for medical use. It is not mind altering. It does not get you high.

    So why is a natural cancer killer like Marijuana (and Vitamin b17) outlawed? Why is it only now that we are studying properties like CBD and CBN in Cannabis that we couldn’t study before because of Federal Legislature? Big Pharm and Private Prisons.

    Fill the prisons and TREAT diseases. Big Pharm doesn’t want to cure you from diseases, it wants to treat the diseases and milk you till you die. It is disgusting but it’s reality. Big Pharm comes right up in 2nd when it comes to profit making. Right behind Oil.

    The writing is on the wall. Use the internet for Christakes. The information is at your finger tips. Or a book! Try 1984. Also, this whole drug argument reminds me of Orwellian Double Think.

    To passively accept the idea that the prohibition of Alcohol caused crime and was a bad move, and than to also accept the prohibition of Cannabis and other drugs, which creates crime (Mexican Cartels and US crime) is ok. It’s called holding two contradictory beliefs as correct. It’s kinda funny actually, because like Orwell says, even the word double think involves the use of double think.

    Oh and I just love the 1984 presence on the college campus as well. Thousands of dollars spent on high tech cameras and fancy cop cars where these tainted egos can act tough and pretend their doing something. The college classes feel like upgraded high school classes with the same textbook Prussian model Zionist funded Education system. Screw critical thinking. Here’s a 150 dollar upgraded McGraw Hill Textbook. Here, here’s your history, don’t question it.

    Well anyway a lot of things in life you have to try and discover on your own, and think for yourself and trusting your own judgement. Your right. Not what those other people are trying to tell you how to think.

  2. Ronald,
    You make a good point. Although, I’m slightly concerned on your comments. Last I checked, my friend and Republican Ronald was dead. Is this reincarnated Ronald?

  3. Cute.

    Here, run a story on this website. But do it fast! Your dopamine will start to recede and before you know it you would have already shoved your head up your a**!

    Dopamineproject.org

    And Yes Bill, the cancer in my a** didn’t kill me. I “inhaled”. But we all know you took brownies Bill, you dirty war criminal prick you.

    (:

  4. This is a one sided view with the only sources being A) people who have never done drugs; B) someone who has such low self-esteem he/she has to find love through substance; C) someone of weak mind and/or weak will. Also, you have spelling errors. It’s “closest” not “closes”.

  5. I don’t see the real harm in smoking weed. I have tried it in high school but did not like the way it made me feel. I have NEVER heard of a case where someone has DIED from smoking weed, although I do agree with other hardcore drugs, eventually death occurs due to the heavy usuage. Marijuana isn’t as bad as what people make it seem, otherwise some states would not have legalized it and some of the doctors would not be using the substance for medicianal usages.

  6. As I read this article, I noticed that marijuana wasn’t really a main topic compared to cocaine, adderall and alcohol. Simply because you can not overdose, gain health issues or become dangerously addicted to marijuana. The reasons for marijuana being illegal is just some made up theory its not harmful at all compared to all the other drugs stated.

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