Essay on youth and drugs
The school environment plays an undeniable part in influencing drug and alcohol use. Young people are much less willing to accept guidance or intervention from adults but are more willing to listen to their peers. This reinforces the need for specific youth-directed programs in school that encourage peer interaction and guidance to other youth.
Student assistance programs are particularly important during the tertiary level of prevention, meant for students who have already developed a problem with drugs. The honesty of peers in teenage step anonymous meetings ex. Alateen , counseling and social service programs, and on peer intervention teams seems most effective in getting through to other students who are abusing drugs.
Despite the historically taboo nature of adolescent substance use, it is never too early to start educating children on the realities of drugs, alcohol and addiction. Primary prevention strategies should be implemented as young as possible to prevent or at least minimize drug experimentation and use. They must be customized not only for specific age groups but also for ethnicity, gender, culture and other particular factors that will get the information across.
One danger of primary prevention with adolescents is focusing on punitive measures using drug testing and zero-tolerance policies rather than emphasizing personal development. A life skills program taught in grades 7 to 10, Life Skills Training , focuses on increasing social skills and reducing peer pressure to drink. An evaluation of Life Skills Training showed a decrease in the frequency of drinking and excessive drinking.
Drug Abuse Essay | Major Tests
Despite modest results, resistance education programs, such as DARE Drug Abuse Resistance Education are widely used to teach self-esteem, decision-making skills and peer resistance training to fifth or sixth graders. Normative education strategies have proven to be successful in correcting misconceptions about the prevalence, acceptability and supposed benefits of alcohol and drug use among peers. Additionally, perceived benefits and perceived adverse outcomes that young people come to associate with substances are often specific to each drug. This is why prevention must occur drug by drug, because young people will not necessarily generalize the adverse consequences of one drug to the use of others.
It is important that substance abuse education and primary prevention programs continue through high school and into college. Adolescent brain development contributes to the necessity for more than a limited one-year attempt at convincing students to abstain from drugs and alcohol. Multidimensional family therapy MDFT involving individual therapy and family therapy has proven to be most effective in treating adolescent substance use, with parental involvement being the key. A study by the Partnership for a Drug Free America indicates that parents who have repeated discussions with their children about the risks of illicit drugs and who set clear rules do make a difference in adolescent drug use.
Now more than ever, it is important to become conscious of the use and abuse of substances amongst adolescents. Due to the gradual development of their minds, the youth will continue to struggle against the allure and dangers of drugs and alcohol.
Trends concerning the relationship between psychoactive drugs and the youth have proven to be effective tools in understanding its history and repercussions. You are commenting using your WordPress.
You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Home Use Your Head. Search for:. Psychoactive Drugs and Youth By: Richard William Guerra One of the most important changes in substance use in the past forty years has been the gradual lowering of the age of drug users. Share if you Care:. Like this: Like Loading What do you think? Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:.
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Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. Alcohol use among young adults is lower in United States as compared to Canada, though the rates are increasing in both countries. European counterparts reported similar lifetime drug use rates as those of Canada; however, their alcohol use rate is higher. This is because in around two thirds of the countries in Europe surveyed, 90 percent of youth aged between 15 and 16 report for having tried alcohol.
Previous findings indicate that males are repeatedly more likely to report using illicit drugs compared to their female counterparts.
It is evident that adolescence is a developmental stage of experimentation and identity formation. Risk taking in terms of; dangerous driving, unsafe sex, and substance use among others are part of this developmental process. There is also varying motives for substance experimentation. For some youths, it is a form of sensation seeking or rebellion, alleviating boredom, facilitating social bonding, providing pleasure, satisfying curiosity, an escape mechanism or for attaining status.
In this sense, drug use can either be a symbolic or functional behavior. During the transition period into adulthood, drug use can symbolize autonomy and freedom, providing youth with an ostensibly adult status. Many youths try illicit drugs and alcohol during their adolescence period without being problem or frequent users. From a developmental perspective, substance use experimentation is normative during teenage years, and there will be a decline in use as one reaches mid-to-late 20s.
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Though substance use experimentation is a normative behavior among youths, youthful substance use extracts substantial costs on a societal and personal level and for this reason is an extensive cause of concern. Substance abuse during adolescence has associated risks such as genetic susceptibility, poor parenting skills, academic underachievement, and peer rejection among others. Substance use and experimentation are a function of social and peer factors, whereas problem use and abuse relates to psychological and biological factors.
This etiological variation implies that prevention approaches and initiatives should make a distinction between substance use and abuse Levine, Substance use prevention or reduction strategies can be classified based on certain dimensions.
Drug Abuse Essay
First, based on the objective or aim of a program, for instance, preventing harm, preventing use and preventing stigma. Secondly, based on strategy for instance, deterrence, regulation, persuasion and education among others. Thirdly, based on the institutional base, for instance, the community, the schools, the media, the courts, and family and finally, based on the target population, for instance, youth in general, heavy users, and high-risk youth. Other programs that can be used in prevention of substance use include; Universal prevention programs which target the entire population, for instance, students with messages of delaying use or preventing.
The next one is Selective prevention programs which target subgroups that have high susceptibility for substance abuse or use, for example, children from poor backgrounds or with poor academic achievements. The programs will focus on augmenting protective factors and reduce risk factors. Lastly, Indicated prevention programs, its main purpose is to put off abuse among individuals who are already using substances and have indicated early signs of misuse, for example, binge drinkers, or they have indicated signs of problems such as depression that will increase their likelihood of developing substance related problems.
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The intention of each program is to curb advancement in substance abuse as well as other problems that arise from substance abuse. The recently growing approach is Harm reduction whose aim is not on abstinence, but to a certain extent to pass on information in order to curb the harm originating from substance use as well as to endorse drug-using skills that are safer. In this sense, perception of abstinence is as the eventual risk-reduction objective. Experts have argued that the acceptance of the occurrence of drug use is less equal to condoning use, and maintained that harm reduction programs should be incorporated in an extensive preventive approach, which aim at problem users as well as those with a high likelihood for harm Andrews, In conclusion, the outcome of various studies indicates that considerable proportions of youths are engaging in drug abuse with the trend accelerating each year.
Most of the young adults especially teenagers are substance experimenters, thus trying out different drugs such as cannabis, tobacco and alcohol. This move gives an indication that the objective of abstinence may not serve realistically as a means of preventing or reducing drug abuse on a population level. Though abstinence should stay put, as a pivotal objective, initiatives and interventions should consider and acknowledge strategies that focus on experimentation and aim the headway of use.
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Trends and Patterns in Substance Use and Abuse Over the last decade, the prevalence rate of substance use among youths is Canada has increased. Get a Price Quote:. Essays search.