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Inside a very popular person’s life at Ronald Reagan Sr. High

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A 22 year old graduate from Ronald Reagan Doral Senior High School shared his high school experience that others are able to learn from. His struggle with substance abuse in high school may be one others are able to learn from.  Since then, this former student has been clean for over two years. His story is unique because everyone knew of his substance use, but no one knew of the struggles he experienced.   His unfortunate use of substance abuse began in 8th grade, where he was first offered marijuana by a senior. He did not know this senior at the time until one day the senior shared ‘‘This stuff relaxes you and will make you forget about your problems.” Later, the same senior successfully recommended trying alcohol. The beginning of both his marijuana and alcohol abuse began in 2008.

At first, the subject was drinking and smoking conservatively; he would go weeks without exposure to either. Gradually, the subject shared that in his Freshman year  “I began to meet people who were drinking and smoking heavily, and they brought me into their world.” Soon, his substance use would peak at more than three episodes a week, and this began to interfere with his school life.  His grades began to decline significantly, and his new friends were not helping his situation either. During his freshman year, he began posting pictures of himself drinking on public medias like Facebook.  His peers knew he was a drinker and started to avoid him, which frustrated him since he was usually very social.

“I used to drink and smoke 24/7 non-stop for fun because I liked doing it, but then it hit me, ‘Why smoke?’,  ‘Why drink?’.  And then I thought about my future with drinking and smoking.” After his thought processing, the subject realized something bad was happening. “My habit became uncontrollable; I could not resist the urge, even when knowing where this would take me.”

The subject was a social butterfly in high school by sophomore year in high school, which led to him to being well known without making enemies. By the end of his sophomore year, he became involved in a relationship with a girl who also went to Reagan.  While the relationship ended peacefully, it remained an emotionally difficult one after three months, because she was unable to deal with his habits.  “It was one of my hardest emotionally impacting moments of substance abuse, and I thought it could not get any harder. But the lowest point, as things would later turn out to be, was yet to come.”

Eventually, during the middle of his junior year, his parents found out. They checked him into rehabilitation, which helped him, and for the rest of eleventh grade he was sober and cigarette free. The summer before his senior year was over, however, he fell back into his drinking habits although he’d permanently quit smoking. One day he went to a party full of seniors and juniors.  “It was kind of a bittersweet thing;   I still had the problem.  It was partly solved, yet the problem was still there.”  His drinking occurred weekly as before, but during these times, he would drink more heavily, while the episodes were slightly lighter than before.  During the middle of his senior year, he reached his lowest point.  “It was after this moment that I was truly, honestly determined to tackle this issue.”

At this time in March 2012, he went to a senior party for the first time, and he had another episode of drinking. This time, he unknowingly consumed a mix of alcoholic drinks which was something he’d never done before. After the party ended, he was started on his way home, walking.  After a short distance,  he collapsed on the sidewalk.  “I could barely see anything or move, yet I could feel the hardness of the ground on my face and it seriously felt like I was going to die.”

Thankfully, someone found him and rushed him to the hospital, where he was reunited with his worried parents, and saved. Toxicology discovered why he wasn’t able to tolerate the drinking.  He also learned that had he not walked by the house, he would have most likely died.

The doctors warned him that if he continued drinking, his body would give up, and to prevent this,  he checked into rehabilitation for two weeks.  This finally ended his substance abuse. His grades improved well enough to go to college, where he now attends and is majoring in medicine. “Being clean all this time has made me wonder how I was like this. For me, this was something that taught me a lesson about life and the way things are, and I look at this as a part of my life I need to learn from.”

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A  student run online multimedia website.
Inside a very popular person’s life at Ronald Reagan Sr. High