The power of choice

Party goers choose short term high over potential long term consequences

Editor’s Note: The stories presented are from individuals who are currently students or were students at Mason High School. The reporters and editors involved in this story guaranteed the safety of these individuals by providing anonymity through aliases. Any aliases resembling real persons are merely coincidental. The reporters and editors took the necessary measures to ensure that the individuals have received the proper guidance and interventions to a level of acceptability by their parents and/or guardians. The Chronicle does not intend to indicate that the events displayed on this page occurred on the same night. The described scene is an amalgamation of several independent party situations.

Abbey Marshall | Staff Writer

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 11.48.16 AMClick to enlarge and view the anatomy of a party household.
Compiled by Abbey Marshall and Ariel Jones
Design by Gabrielle Stichweh

Ever since a young age, high school students have had the same message pounded into their brain: don’t do drugs. Sixth grade brought the D.A.R.E. program, warning students to be cautious of the dangers of drugs. High school health class brought drug education, informing them about the various types of illegal drugs and the negative effects that they have on health.

Not everyone obeyed this message.

Many reasons exist for high school students to do drugs, according to Seth. A very popular reason, Seth said, includes depression and personal problems.

“I went through a really rough period a couple months ago where it just seemed like nothing was going my way and I needed an escape and I just couldn’t find one,” Seth said. “So I started drinking and doing drugs.”

Other than personal reasons, the urge to do drugs and consume alcohol stems from social reasons and pressure. Typically, according to Drew, students will experiment with drugs at a party where their friends are participating in these activities. Drew tried LSD for the first time at one of these parties.

“I was at some party,” Drew said. “There were a bunch of people sitting at a table and it looked pretty sketchy so that’s a good sign. So I go over there when (my friend) called me and he was like, ‘Do you want some of this?’ and I was like, ‘What is it?’ and he told me and so I tried it and it was a good time… Everybody else looked like they were enjoying it, so I joined the bandwagon.”

Seth’s first experience at a party like this eventually led to poor decisions. According to Seth, he has even hosted a couple parties where things happen that he wouldn’t do otherwise if he were sober.

“One time, I was at this party and I drank three Four Lokos, which is equivalent to 18 beers,” Seth said. “It just kind of hit me at once and I couldn’t handle it. I don’t remember much, but I woke up in some apartment complex by myself without my shirt.”

Seth said the outcome was fear and confusion, along with frustration of being unable to remember what had happened the night before.

“I was scared,” Seth said. “People were sending me pictures the next day of me at this party doing all this stupid stuff and I was like, ‘I don’t remember any of that,’ because I drank so much so fast and it all hit me at once and I was just down for the count.”

Marie said that smoking marijuana has an immense amount of risk associated with it. A person can be caught at any time and get charged by the police, or they can suffer health issues and risk getting addicted to another substance, according to Marie.

“I kind of do have a desire to stop smoking just because it’s more risk than there is good coming out of it,” Marie said. “There’s the keeping it on you. There’s the getting caught doing it. There’s the chance of getting pulled over and you’re messed up then your parents find out about it and then you’re just paranoid all the time. There’s also a chance of it being laced with something then you’re hooked on something else as well.”

Seth said he had a personal experience like this with a drug dealer lacing marijuana with something else in an attempt to get him addicted.

“Somebody tried to give me marijuana that my friends paid for and I was just going to smoke it with them,” Seth said. “He rolled it up, but he laced it with spice and it was messed up…He put his number in my phone and everything so it’s obvious that he wanted to sell to me more.”

According to Marie, getting caught by parents or police is the worst scenario. Seth is familiar with this type of situation. He said his parents are aware of his drug and alcohol abuse and are very upset with his choices.

“They are very disappointed in me all the time,” Seth said. “It sucks knowing that your parents are disappointed in you constantly because they know what you do. My dad bought a Breathalyzer. He wants to have me drug tested. He wants to do all this stuff and it kind of sucks to know that your parents don’t trust you.”

According to Drew, he would quit and could quit if he ever had to. Seth, however, said it’s very difficult to do so.

“I always tell myself I want to (quit), but then I just lose faith in it or I’ll have another rough time and I’ll just start doing it again,” Seth said. “It’s hard to quit once you’ve started. A lot of people say that it’s really easy to quit right now, but you can’t. I mean, you can, but just going total cold turkey–it’s a lot harder than you think.”

Seth, who is currently working on being drug-free, said he wishes that he had never started drinking and smoking marijuana. Drugs are simply not worth all the risk and the effects on your health and mind, according to Seth.

“Don’t start,” Seth said. “If you have the opportunity and you’re going through something, don’t start doing this just because of that. It’s not worth it at all. I would rather be clean right now than doing all this stuff. It’s just not worth it and I wouldn’t advise it to anyone.”