Drugs: a sure way to lose your cool
Teenagers are starting to take drugs at increasingly younger ages; in some cases, children younger than 10 are falling victim.
In most cases, teens get into drugs because of people around them - they think taking drugs is cool. But it's not.
If an older friend or family member is taking drugs, it increases the chances of a teen wanting to try drugs. And then they get hooked. Soon the consequences of taking drugs will begin to affect the teenager physically.
By that stage, it's too late to simply stop taking drugs. It will not be easy to give up.
Now, taking up a sport, like running, playing basketball or swimming ... and winning a medal - that's what's really cool.
Guby Wong, Victoria Shanghai Academy
From the Editor
Thank you for letter, Guby. A lot of young - and not so young - people think drugs are cool. A lot of others believe they will solve all their problems and make life less stressful. Neither belief is true. Drugs are addictive, dangerous, illegal and expensive.
Being open-minded about new experiences is great, but this doesn't apply when an experience offers no benefits, and could ruin your life.
Using some drugs may give you a buzz (a 'high'), or relax you for a while, but this effect will wear off. It's likely you'll be desperate to try them again, and suddenly you're hooked. Drugs can cause a range of health problems, from depression and paranoia to amnesia, respiratory problems, and everything in between. And yes, at the end, death.
If you want a 'high', you can get it in ways that don't involve illegal drugs, but get your pulse racing and your adrenaline flowing; sports, and extreme sports in particular, are a great solution.
And if you're tempted to turn to drugs because of stress or peer pressure, know that there are always better solutions, and that there is always someone to talk to about these issues. We all need help and support sometimes. Don't be afraid to ask for it.
Karly, Deputy Editor