Pugs and Drugs


Laura Nicolescu, Co-Editor-in-Chief

This week at Centennial is Red Ribbon week. Lots of teachers have decorated their doors with slogans and designs to discourage teenagers from doing drugs.

The highlights include:

Skip the drugs. Hug a pug.

Titans don’t have time for drugs, with a picture of the screen of an iPhone. Not a band instrument, sports memorabilia, or books. Titans, do apparently, have time to text and tweet.

Still better than drugs.

Say I’m considering doing drugs. When I see the construction paper on that door, I’m immediately going to abandon thoughts of getting high, find the nearest pug, and hug it.


I feel so much better now.

Maybe pugs should be brought into Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

Advocates against drugs, not just at our school, but in general, do not understand where to tackle the problem. Pugs aren’t helping anyone. What would help, however, is getting to the root of the problem.

Kids and teenagers are influenced every day by their surroundings. It’s proven that when kids see their parents using, they’re more likely to do so too. However, this is a factor hard to control.

But what about when kids and teens see their favorite stars using? Music is something teenagers entertain themselves with every day. Drugs seem to be glorified in popular music more than ever before.

Drug use has always shown up in songs, but not usually to the extent of not being able to turn on the radio without hearing those kinds of lyrics. For example, the most popular song in America right now is “The Hills,” by The Weeknd. Known for his graphic lyrics about drugs, this song no exception as it explicitly says the word “drugs” and talks about his refusal to go to rehab. And his previous major hit, “Can’t Feel my Face”? Not about botox, but cocaine. “She’ll be the death of me,” he sings. And yes, she will.

Rising Swedish pop sensation Tove Lo, popular with young adults, spawned her career with the song “Habits” (Stay High). The song is exactly what you think it is. And the video? Her “stay[ing] high, all the time.” The video for her newest song, “Moments,” features her (acting, hopefully) popping pills, crashing her car and shooting her fiance. Teenagers, looking up to their favorite star, say “I wanna be like her!”

Which is the wrong message. Drugs are a serious matter. While artists’ goals aren’t to promote drug use, teenagers don’t always realize this. While parents can’t always control what their children watch and listen to, what they can do, along with teachers, is drive them away from the mentality that drugs are “cool.”

Show pictures of people on drugs. Show the devastating and long term effects drugs have on our body. Share stories of people who have died or have their lives changed forever because of drugs.

Don’t give me pugs. Give me something real. So that when kids make the pledge to be drug free, they mean it.

That’s the only way we’re going to end America’s Drug Epidemic.