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Drugs, alcohol becoming problems

May 7, 2008
I attend Lock Haven University. I would like to address a community problem that is a concern in Lock Haven.

About two weeks ago, I was assigned to do a group paper on a community issue in Lock Haven and, based on interviews of residents in Lock Haven, drugs and alcohol is fast becoming a major problem in Lock Haven. The problems with drugs and alcohol affect the older and younger population. Although people in power are trying to address the drug and alcohol use among teenagers in Lock Haven, as a college student majoring in Social Work, I feel the need to include my perspective on the issue.

The drug and alcohol use in this community, I believe, is increasing incredibly, as well as underage drinking and driving under the influence. The target population is youth between 12 and 18 years of age who are engaging in drug and alcohol abuse. Drug trafficking and the expansion of drugs being transported into the Lock Haven community has been a major issue that has contributed to drug use among college, and middle and high school students.

This is because in rural communities, the interstate highway system has created an easier way for drug dealers to elicit drug production and distribution, making Lock Haven accessible to all kinds of drugs and drug trafficking.

Another facet of the drug problem is local law enforcement. After conducting interviews with some of the residents of Lock Haven about the drug and alcohol abuse problem, I learned local law enforcement is not doing enough to keep drug and alcohol abusers off the streets. I was told teenagers who are arrested for drug use and binge drinking are only released with a warning and, according to two of the residents I interviewed, this message (letting teenagers off with a warning) will not persuade teenagers to stop abusing drugs and alcohol.

Taking all this information into account, as a resident myself of Lock Haven, I consider myself very much involved in the community and its issues. Therefore, the drug and alcohol problem in Lock Haven needs to be assessed and individuals in power need to address this problem by advocating and educating teenagers about the effects of drug and alcohol abuse. And, when arrested, to learn from their mistakes, teenagers need to be treated like criminals, instead of getting off with just a warning.


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