In addition to partying with alcohol, some students use other drugs, such as marijuana.
According to the 2014-2015 Healthy Kids Survey, 52 percent of PHS and MHS upperclassmen have used marijuana at least once.
“Getting ‘lit’ is very different from partying because when you party there’s a large social gathering,” Lillian said. “Getting ‘lit’ is doing drugs with your friends in a smaller group.”
When people do combine drugs with parties, Lillian said that it loosens the atmosphere and lowers social tension and awkwardness.
“[Drugs] make it easier to open up and make connections,” Lillian said.
“It’s less of a ‘people do it to uphold the status quo,’ and it’s more people doing it out of sheer curiosity,” Vin said.
Vin also said that although peer pressure might exist, it doesn’t happen in the generic way kids are taught.
“I think it would be dismissive to say that there is no peer pressure whatsoever, but I don’t think it’s peer pressure in the way you might typically think of it, like in a movie where there’s the kid who says ‘Do this and you’re cool,’” Vin said. “It’s less of a direct peer pressure, but more like ‘Everyone else is doing it, what have I got to lose.’”
Lillian also said that strict ‘just say no’ teaching by parents is often not helpful because not only do the kids do drugs anyway, but they are then not educated when doing so.
“Talking to kids about safely using drugs is important,” Lillian said.
Vin said that drugs are present at most parties, and that there is a culture surrounding what kids choose to use. However, regardless of drug choice, Vin said that all partiers who choose to get intoxicated will end up getting a little messed up and have a good time.
“At most parties you’ll have people smoking weed regardless of whether the host allows it or not, everyone finds a way,” Vin said. “Weed especially is super prevalent at most Piedmont parties you’ll go to, but I think there’s a lot more of a drinking culture in Piedmont. I find that in Piedmont there’s generally three types of people at parties: the people who exclusively drink, who tend to be a little wishy-washy about the people who smoke; the people who drink and smoke and who don’t really care; and there are people who only smoke, and they tend to look down a little on the people who drink.”
Vin said that in his experience, people who smoke tend to be a little more controlled than people who drink.
“With drinking culture, it’s ‘go big or go home,’” Vin said. “I feel like when people drink they go shot after shot after shot.”
Overall, Vin said that the Piedmont drug culture is particularly fascinating because of the rigor of the high school itself.
“I think it’s interesting because it’s so self destructive and yet we’re at a school where people’s grades tend to be at least very decent,” Vin said. “[PHS] is such an academic school and yet I guess anything is possible when your parents are rich.”