Voices of Native Youth

What Happens When Drugs Take Over Your Life?

Do you know anyone who had potential and ruined it with drugs? My math teacher almost ruined his life with drugs. He told us what happens when drugs take over your life.

My math teacher (a veteran who likes to tell us stories to teach us lessons) told us the story of how when he got out of the army he turned to drugs and alcohol. He said, “Drugs distract you from reality.” He had goals after the army, but once he realized that drugs weren’t helping him achieve his goals, he quit using them. Now he’s a math teacher.

Drugs are bad for Native Americans because they contribute to poverty, cause health problems, and ruin Native American lives.

Drug Use Contribues to Suicide and Poverty

Not everyone realizes what happens when drugs take over your life. Before you experiment with drugs, read this. Hopefully it will change your mind. #drugabuse #nativeyouth #nativeamericans #poverty #health #ownvoices

Drug use by Native American youth contributes to the cycle of poverty. According to a report for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 36% of the Native Americans or Alaska Natives who died by suicide had legal intoxication rates. Another study cited in the same paper, “In a small 2007–2010 studyof White Mountain Apacheyouthages 15-24, 64% were “drunk or high” when they died by suicide, 75.7% were “drunk or high” during a suicide attempt, and 49.4% during suicidal ideation.” Suicides don’t just have an emotional toll on the family, either. Familes suffer financially as well.

Depression and substance abuse combine to form a vicious cycle that leads to suicide. According to DrugAbuse.com, “Using drugs impairs decision-making abilities and physically impairs people. This is a deadly concoction when on the job. In fact, 10-20% of American workers who die at work have a positive result when tested for drugs or alcohol.”  In other words, if you start using drugs and alcohol, you won’t live up to your full work potential. All in all, drugs don’t help you with a job, or your future dreams. Drugs contribute to poverty and suicide. 

When Drugs Take Over Your Life, They Take Over Your Family’s Life, Too

Drugs can ruin Native American families. According to Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches, Inc. “Every single person in an addict’s immediate family (and at times extended family) is affected in some way by the individual’s substance abuse. Addiction impacts a family’s finances, physical health and psychological wellbeing.”  When parents use drugs, their children will likely follow in their footsteps.

Addiction would be more likely because the relatives and other family members that also had it in the past. So you would have to suffer from that as well. It also states in casapalmera.com, “Drug addiction runs through families, perhaps in part for genetic reasons, and in part due to environmental influence. If you have a blood relative who is addicted, especially a parent or full sibling, you have a higher risk for drug addiction.” In short, drugs can ruin families because drugs come with a cost of damage to families. Also, a family history of drug addiction puts Native youth at risk for becoming addicted, too. Families could break apart because of drugs. 

The Health Risks of Drug Use

You could have health problems because of drugs or you could die. An article from americanaddictioncenters.com says, “People who struggle with addiction spend a great deal of their time intoxicated, on drugs, or trying to acquire more drugs; this means that they often neglect oral hygiene because they cannot afford a dentist or they simply stop caring about brushing their teeth.” You could have gum problems, which puts you at risk for heart disease. So, if you don’t die from the drugs, you could die from heart disease because the drugs make you stop caring for yourself. In conclusion drugs can cause gum problems, as well as heart and lung disease or worse.

Drugs will derail our dreams.#nativeyouth Click To Tweet

Native American youth may not realize how bad drugs are for them. Drugs will derail our dreams by making it difficult for us to finish school or hold a job. Drug use can increase the chances that will take our own lives. Drugs become addicting and could ruin families as well. Drugs could also give you other health problems. You could ruin your gums or increase your risk of heart and lung disease. 

In conclusion, drugs are bad for you because they won’t give you a job, they make it more likely that you’ll commit suicide, they become addictive, ruin families, and give you health problems.

Before You Down That Energy Drink, Read This

Why Energy Drinks Are Bad For You.

Energy drinks are bad for you because they can affect your mental health, lead to obesity and diabetes, and cause long-term physical harm. Some of the people who die from too many energy drinks had overall good health before the drinks messed with their hearts.

Who needs energy drinks? Maybe no one. Before you get in the habit of drinking them, maybe you should read this! #energydrink #diabetes #obesity

That can of Red Bull or Monster may look good, but the contents could affect your mental health. According to Patrick Allen, energy drinks can cause a concern for mental heath, as well as cause insomnia, and dependency. 

Students might down a Red Bull as a juicing-up source to stay awake late and night and get ready for tests. Then from there it gets worse. They get addicted to the taste of the drinks and want more. As a result of not knowing the dangers of too much caffeine, a teenage boy who drank a large Mountain Dew, a latte, and an energy drink over a 40-minute time span collapsed at school. He later died from cardiac arrythmia. 

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a lethal dose of caffeine for an adolescent is anywhere between 200-400mg per day. The young man who died had consumed about 400mg of caffeine in just 40 minutes. No one knows why he drank so many caffeinated beverages in such a short amount of time. Most likely he had no idea that drinking that much caffeine could kill him.

Energy Drinks Contribute to Obesity and Diabetes, too

Another reason why energy drinks are bad for you is that it can lead to obesity and diabetes. Most of the common energy drinks have an unhealthy amount of sugar. In particular, an 8.4-oz can of Red Bull has about three tablespoons of suger. Doubtlessly, if consumed daily, that could quickly lead to obesity. The two main ingredients in energy drinks are caffeine and sugar. 

Drinking energy drinks sounds cool and all, but having to deal with obesity and diabetes later in life doesn’t. “Living the fast life” is a quick way to die, if you think about it. If you don’t drink energy drinks daily, you won’t have to deal with the weight of obesity (literally), nor have to deal with diabetes later in life. Therefore, if “the cool kids” pressure you into drinking energy drinks with them, it’s up to you to say yes or no.

To Sleep, or not to Sleep

One of the worst reasons that energy drinks are bad for you is that they can cause long-term physical ailments. According to SleepJunkies.com, long-term use of energy drinks (6 months or regular ingestion) may cause insomnia. The long-term usage effects of insomnia are: sleep loss, sleeping disorder, increased risk of hyper tension, diabetes, obesity, depression, increased risk of heart attack and stroke. 

I think getting insomnia is probably the worst you can get from drinking too much energy drinks. Although I don’t drink energy drinks, I wouldn’t even want to start because of what else I don’t know about them. After reading and researching all of this, (even though I only researched a small nugget of available information), I most likely won’t drink energy drinks just because of the effects of insomnia.

Saying, 'No!' to energy drinks could save your life and give you a better future. Click To Tweet

These are the three reasons that will help me remember that energy drinks are bad for me. They are bad because they can lead to mental health disorders, such as insomnia, and dependency. Even if someone tries to pressure you to buy an energy drink, think of all the symptoms that could happen. I also didn’t realize that those aluminum cans held dangers. I also thought that drinking more Monster would just give me more energy (not possibly kill me). On the whole, if I want a better chance at living a longer life, I’ll just say no to energy drinks.

Charles comes from an area that’s called Arizona, and he is a Navajo. He is mostly interested in mechanical engineering and sci-fi. One day he would like to travel to different countries.
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