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Eng 102 - Drug Abuse, Addiction & Prevention: Adolescents & Teens

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Drug Abuse, Addiction, & Prevention:Adolescents&Teens



According to American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry experimentation with drugs is very common in adolescents. "In 2008, an estimated 22.2 million persons aged 12 or older were classified with substance dependence or abuse in the past year" (Inspirations Youth, 2007-2010). There are many reasons why young teens feel they need to experiment. One main reason is that they normally have to face peer pressure. Some adolescents cannot control how they feel at this time in their life and peer pressure overcomes them. This is where drug use comes into play. Next is the availability of the drugs along with stress or depression. The availability of drugs has played a big role in drug use and addiction throughout adolescents. The information stated above makes it very hard for teens to make the best judgment at such a young age. The use of drugs by teenagers has become an increasingly problem throughout high schools today. This is where becoming aware of drug use and addiction along with learning how prevention plays a role in reaching out to teenagers. The Inspirations for Youth and Families (2007-2010) website states "60.6 percent of youths aged 12 to 17 were dependent on or abused drugs compared with 37.4 percent of young adults aged 18 to 25 and 24.3 percent of adults aged 26 or older." Drug use and addiction is clearly a problem throughout the U.S and other countries. This problem can be reduced by the help from the whole community along with parents today. School authorities need to take into consideration that this is where drug use and addiction usually stems from and keeping up with their students can also make a change.

Below is a chart of specific drug use among adolescents twelve years or older for the year 2008. As you can see Marijuana is well known and mostly used throughout the year.

Dependence on or Abuse of Specific Illicit Drugs in the Past Year among Persons Aged 12 or Older: 2008

Inspirations for Youth and Families. (2007-2010). Inspirations for Youth and Families. Retrieved from

The chart provided above clearly shows that Marijuana is the most popular drug of choice for ages twelve years and older. Thousands of adolescents are affected at such a young age and this information is a helpful "eye opener". Especially since drug abuse at such an early age can be a learned behavior. For example: A parent using and abusing drugs around their children. Parents need to realize that drugs are never going to be more important than the little once they chose to have.

Adolescents using drugs has been seen more and more over the past few years. The top three drugs that teens were addicted to in 2008 were heroin, marijuana, and cocaine. Although there are over a dozen drugs readily available to young children and teens, marijuana is still the most popular drug out there. Once they enter the teenager years is when it becomes more of a problem. Peer pressure is one of many reasons why teenagers become addicted or abuse drugs in high school. There are some teenagers who experiment and stop where others continue to keep abusing drugs. What needs to be brought to their attention is that averaging good grades throughout high school sets them up for a positive future. Teenagers associated with drugs can lead to negative consequences. Using drugs can lead to failing school and reported violence within or outside of school. This also causes poor judgment and can lead to accidents such as overdosing, suicide, and death. Teens also don't realize the effects of becoming addicted at a young age. There are serious health problems that occur with the use of drugs. Although different drugs have different risks here are a few. They include anxiety, depression, and can even develop panic disorders. (NYU Langone Medical Center, 2008).

Drug use and addiction with teens normally leads up to adulthood depending on the person. The reasoning behind drug use mostly ties in with peer pressure, although it hasn't been targeted on one main reason. Many of the teens who are put in this situation just do it because everyone else is. There are teens that even just do drugs just to experiment so they



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