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Submitted by on October 25, 2011 – 1:13 pm2 Comments

In Montana there are a lot of problems with adolescents using and abusing drugs.  The four main things that are abused in the state of Montana are prescription drugs, marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol.  These drugs have many diverse side effects and cause many of Montana’s motor vehicle deaths each year.

A recent poll done by shows teens believe that marijuana is the most abused drug in Montana by minors.  Marijuana, an herb that can be used for medicinal reasons, is used illegally by many teens in the state of Montana.  According to, “Marijuana is a green, brown, or gray mixture of dried shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the hemp plant.”  It contains a chemical often referred to as THC.  There are many chemicals found in this drug which are often referred to as mind altering.  In fact, there are over 400 different chemicals found in marijuana.  Marijuana is also proven to be addictive in teens, and there are more diagnostics of marijuana dependence than all other illegal drugs put together.

Many side-effects come with ingesting the chemicals of marijuana.  These side effects include sleeplessness, anxiety, impaired judgment or motor coordination, increased heart rate, and shortened attention span.  Along with these short-term effects come the long-term effects of marijuana.  These include problems with memory and/or learning, decreased alertness and coordination, withdrawal symptoms from being addicted, sleeplessness, altered appetite and aggression.  Considering these effects, is it smart to be using a drug like this?

According to our poll, the second most abused drug in the state of Montana is tobacco.  According to Montana state law, one must be 18 years of age or older to possess and purchase tobacco products.  In fact, according to, “tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States.”  Although the effects of smoking are hidden in persuasive ads portrayed by the media, smoking is horrifically bad for people.  While smoking a cigarette one is inhaling tar, carbon monoxide, nicotine and over 200 known poisons into the lungs.

There are many physical and emotional effects from using tobacco.  These include a variety of cancers cause by prolonged use.  Among these cancers are pancreatic, bladder, throat, mouth, lung, and kidney.  Other effects include coughing, shortness of breath, bronchitis and many other diseases.  Also smoking can age the body physically, causing wrinkles and/or dry skin.

The third most abused substance in the state of Montana, according to our poll is alcohol.  Alcohol has many diverse effects on the body, both physically and mentally.  Montana is on the list for the highest drunk driving rate in the United States.  With this said, alcohol combined with motor vehicles causes many deaths in Montana and the rest of the United States every year.

According to, alcohol is a substance created from grains, fruits or vegetables that have been fermented to form alcohol.  Alcohol has many uses and can often times be found in common household cleaners.  Although this is true, the kind of alcohol that people actually consume is ethanol, a type of sedative.  When consumed, alcohol enters the blood stream; it affects organs such as the brain and many other systems of the body.  Alcohol can sometimes also block signals going to the brain.  The results of this could be tragic.  When under the influence of alcohol, many things may happen.  It may be harder to walk, vision may blur, while driving people’s reaction time is slower, and people may have trouble speaking.  Other effects which may be caused from prolonged use are liver problems and possibly disease, and problems with learning or memory.  Another thing that could happen when a person is under the influence, due to lack of judgment, is the spreading of the virus HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases.  These choices to drink could affect a person negatively for the rest of his or her life.

The fourth and final most abused drug is prescription drugs.  These are drugs usually prescribed by a doctor for medical conditions or pain a patient is experiencing.  Following strict guidelines, these drugs are safe to use and beneficial to the many who take them.  However, when abused these drugs can be dangerous.  Overdoses can cause serious injury or death.  Is this high worth dying for?

In conclusion, there are many effects all of these different drugs and substances can have on ones body.  These drugs when abused all have negative effects on ones body.  If ever asked to do drugs or drink make the right choice and say no!


  • N/A says:

    Marijuana is only a problem because nobody will control it. There is no way teachers dont see that kids come to school baked, but they dont say anything because its easier to just turn away and act like nothing happened. Also, how does the SRO NOT know about hick row or the kids that get high in the park across from Capital?! Pot is a problem because nobody cares enough to DO anything about it! If there was a consequence, kids wouldn’t smoke. There is no punishment, or even a threat of a punishment for getting caught with weed. We need some ACTUAL drug enforcement.

  • Kim says:

    Nice job covering all the substance abuse areas and the consequences.

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