Immigrant Students Study Addiction

Mission Street between 16th and 17th streets.

Some of the students at the San Francisco International High School have only been in the country for a short time, but they are already tackling difficult topics that transcend borders. Each student has selected a “Change maker,” someone who, in their eyes, is solving the problems these students care about most. In this ongoing series, the students first write about themselves and why they selected their change maker.  

Drug and alcohol addictions, once fully developed, inhibit an individual’s ability to make decisions about their use, and consumption becomes compulsive. Apart from affecting the addict, who is at risk of developing cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, hepatitis, and lung disease, alcohol and drug abuse also affect family members and loved ones. Family members may find themselves being kept at a distance, becoming enablers, or in the case of children, repeating the patterns they observe in their addicted family members. Here is one of the students whose change-maker works with this issue.

Maria Poblano


My name is Maria Poblano. I am from Mexico. I have been living in this country for nine months. I am 14 years old. One thing I like is to play soccer.

My group is studying drug addiction. This problem is important to me because I know that my cousin is addicted to drugs. I think if he continues to follow this addiction, he could get diseases. This affects my life because he is already doing poorly in school and I want him to stop doing it. Also, this is important because many people in the world are addicted to drugs and people who have drug addiction sometimes do bad things that can hurt them and other people.

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