Vashon teens’ drug usage seems to be increasing due to COVID-19
By Alexander Wolf, Reporter
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, teen usage of drugs, overall, had been on the decline, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse for teens. However, the effects of quarantine and isolation are putting local teens at risk of addiction and relapse to drugs. The situation is not hopeless though, as it is constantly changing as these circumstances change.
According to an anonymous teen familiar with the world of teen drug usage on Vashon, drug usage among teens has increased during the quarantine.
“I’ve noticed an increase in the demand for drugs. At the beginning of quarantine, the drug dealers weren’t picking up on the demand so there was an outage. But now the supply has caught up with the demand,” they said.
With a lack of anything better to do, many island teens are turning to drugs as a means to fill their sudden abundance of time.
“There’s nothing else to do really. Like locked in quarantine, it’s just that I would rather be home high than be home doing nothing.” the anonymous teen said..
Amongst Vashon teens, certain drugs have seen higher rates of consumption than others.
“There is a big increase in nicotine and marijuana consumption,” the anonymous teen said..
For the average teen during quarantine, drugs are apparently easy to acquire.
“If [people] were able to leave their house and meet up with someone, [it would be] very easy because there are a lot of people who have access to drugs. But if they can’t leave their house they can’t get it.” the anonymous teen said.
While the situation for teens at risk of drug usage is not good, it is even more dire for teens at risk of relapse.
“While social distancing isn’t easy for anyone, it is hitting one group particularly hard,” said Dayry Hulkow, a primary therapist on FOX news.
“People who are recovering from a substance use disorder are finding it difficult to maintain sobriety with their routine uprooted, and many of them are relapsing during COVID-19.”
While this pandemic is a new occurrence, addiction is not. Various resources, such as VARSA, are available to teens who struggle with drug usage. Vashon teens who struggle with drug usage are not alone and they should know that addiction does not define them.