Crack Cocaine is Still in High Schools
I had known J since my freshman year at Watsonville
high school but I never knew he smoked crack until my
senior year in December. One day when I was going to
the bathroom at school J was talking to a friend of
his I didn’t know. Then J showed 2 crack crystals to
the friend. After I saw that I didn’t talk to J as
much and we have drifted apart because it was
apparent J wanted to fry his brain and I didn’t.
Crack today isn’t as popular as it used to be, but
people like J still use it.
“Crack is not as popular as it was in the mid 80’s,”
said Jason Murphy, a drug and alcohol counselor for
the Y.E.S. (Youth Experiencing Success) school, a
clean and sober school for drug addicted teens. “I
think drugs tend to go out of style as time passes.
Methamphetamines are more popular today than crack.”
Even though crystal meth is the popular drug right
now, teenagers are still using crack locally and all
over the nation. According to the 2004 National
Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 7.8
million Americans ages 12 and older reported trying
crack at least once during their lifetimes,
representing 3.3% of the population ages 12 and
“I’d say about 25% [of patients] were at Narconon
because they were addicted to crack cocaine,” said
Mark Wenzel of Narconon.
I came into contact with “S”, a 27-year-old former
crack addict, who was using a variety of drugs when
he was in high school. S was a freshman when he
started using marijuana, after his father died.
“When I was 14 the drug use started for me,” S
said. “I used drugs to cope with those problems that
I was dealing with and my dad passing away.”
Over time he started taking hallucinogens. Next he
started taking ecstasy. Then, he made a big change.
“I went to treatment at 16 but I felt like I was too
young to stop taking drugs,” S said. “I was clean for
22 months and realized that . . . I wasn’t going to
During his senior year, when he was 18 years old, S
started to use crack.
“I turned to crack cocaine to keep me up through the
long nights of drinking,” S said. “I always told
myself that I would never smoke crack. I mean you
totally make a transformation into someone you’re
A few years later S realized that if he continued to
take crack, it would be too late to turn back. He
knew that he had to make one last transformation back
to the person he was meant to be.
“The biggest problem was when the drug stopped
working I couldn’t run from myself . . . (drugs) are
only a temporary solution to your problems.”
By the time he realized that he had a drug problem he
knew it was time to get help from the pain of this
“I came to realize that I was unhappy,” S said. “I
felt like I got to a point. It was a turning point of
where I saw I was going toward death, a place where I
S went to Narconon, a drug rehabilitation clinic for
youth and adults that helped him kick his drug
“Narconon has saved my life,” S said. “They restored
me back to the true self I really was. They taught me
how to confront my problems instead of running away
from them so I could overcome them and no longer try
to run from myself. Amazingly enough I found answers
in myself. I no longer had a desire or will to use
drugs ever again.”
Murphy said the signs of someone using crack are,
sleeplessness, reduction in appetite and eating, loss
of weight, paranoia, and increased energy.
If you ever see someone using crack in the bathroom,
or anywhere else, you should try to get them help,
especially if they are your friends. I didn’t get the
opportunity to help my friend J and now I regret it.