Editorial: Addiction in Youth

By JANICE IRWIN – Student Contributor

Addiction is a spectrum. There are addictions people have casually and addictions that end up ruining lives.

Not every addiction consists of narcotics and opioids, but that is the picture that often gets painted in people’s heads.

One thing is for sure: addictions start early and are often influenced by adult figures or peers. A child with a father who smokes is much more likely to pick up the bad habit than any other kid.

This stays true for alcohol, meth, or any other substance. It’s very easy for the message of “drugs are bad” to feel overplayed or exaggerated, but the dangers are real.

Gender, race, and geographical location all dictate the risk factors and level of protective factors a child or adult may have when abusing drugs.

The correlation between poverty and drug abuse is too high to ignore. Poor areas offer far more risk factors than protective ones for those on the verge of abusing drugs. One important factor is the lesser education those in poverty receive.

To combat this, it only makes sense to further spread the word. We must campaign for awareness and fight to educate all. Knowledge is power.





Janice Irwin is a student at Cranberry High School and a member of Cranberry Chronicles, the school’s journalism/publications group.