Sample Research Paper on Teenage Drug Abuse

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders defines teenage drug abuse as the negative dependence on any substance that has undesirable effects on the teenager (Langwith 12). A teenager is an individual at the age of minority. The negative effects of substance abuse include intoxication, complications after withdrawal and even usage of the drug for longer than expected. Teenage drug abuse has therefore become an issue of public concern. The facts and statistics collected by the United States Government are really disturbing. The latest reports indicate that at least 50% of the high school seniors had abused a drug and 43% of these have used marijuana (Hirschy, Thompson, and Elaine 25). By 8th grade, 15% of the teenage have used marijuana and smoked cigarettes (Friedman 1454). Furthermore, 20% of the high school teenagers think that smoking is dangerous while the remaining 80% view smoking as a cool thing to do before leaving high school (Hirschy, Thompson, and Elaine 36). These statistics and many more have given the government, parents and society at large the need to critically examine the effect that drug abuse has on teenagers and most importantly come up with measures to fight the vice.

Teenage drug abuse is majorly seen to begin in social settings that teenagers are involved and it is influenced by peer pressure. The use of drugs is observed to occur in five stages (Langwith 16). First, the teenage is exposed to the drugs, but be does not use them in any way. The teenager has doubts about its use based on the facts he or she knows about substance use. Thereafter he or she decides to experiment so as to determine if the facts he or she knows about the drugs are true. The individual is usually influenced by friends that he or she relates to. The experimentation leads to occasional use of the drug and furthermore propagates the teenage to try out other drugs (Friedman 1450). The frequent use of the drug has dangerous consequences of making the teenage begin stealing or become a drug dealer so as to provide for the daily needs for the use of the drug. Later on, the adolescents become totally intoxicated with the drug and develop serious problems in all spheres of life such as economic, social and educational (Hirschy, Thompson, and Elaine 58). The final stage is more dangerous. The teenage becomes totally addicted to the drug to the extent that he or she only functions normally only if he or she is using the drug.

However, it is significant to note that drug abuse among teenagers is of concern to the general society due to the negative or undesirable effects that it has on the user of the drug. Most teenage drug abusers are known to have decreased levels of attentions. This has an impact on affecting their education performance as they can rarely comprehend facts during class sessions (Langwith 37). This inability to be inattentive is also demonstrated in social settings where the teenager engages in unprotected sex more so with a stranger. This puts a teenager at risk of sexually transmitted diseases and even unwanted pregnancies. However, it is also sad to acknowledge that drug abuse can lead to rape and also victimization (Langwith 38).

The sexual reproductive system is not spared of the undesired effects of the drug abuse. It has been observed and confirmed that anabolic steroids has been closely associated with boys and men becoming impotent while girls and women are faced with the enlargement of the clitoris (Friedman 1451). Furthermore, the general health of the teenager is affected as drug use leads to liver diseases, baldness, cancer, stunted growth, among other diseases such as heart attacks (Langwith 54). This depends on how the body takes the drug and processes it. Each drug can affect every part of the body system, but it all depends on an individual’s immune system.

A drug not only affects an individual’s health, but also causes certain family risk factors. Individuals involved in drugs constantly engage in family conflicts. The adolescent stage is majorly a stage in which one usually feels that the world is ever against him or her thus nothing is always done in his or her favor. Drug abuse, therefore raises the risk level of such concerns and thus makes the teenage engage in unnecessary conflict with the family.

Parents, educators, health practitioners and the society should therefore be on the look out to establish early symptoms of drug abuse. The methods of recognizing if a teenager is intoxicated depend on which drug he or she is using. Teenagers that frequently use tobacco products have usually been associated with discolored teeth and lips (Friedman 1452). They also have the tobacco smell all over them and they are easily irritable. The use of cannabinoids leads to reddening of the white part of the eye, which is also associated with lack of sleep and excessive hunger since the person does not eat well. However, it is interesting to note that the teenage will also experience abnormal happiness.

Teenagers that frequently use narcotics and stimulants have extremely high blood pressure caused by the rapid heart rate caused by the drugs. Furthermore, they experience less pain and over use of the drug can lead to the death of the teenage as narcotics and stimulants are known to cause slow breathing or even worse stop the breathing process. Studies also show that drugs have the effect of making the teenager lose his or her hair, but it is an interesting fact to note that drug abuse makes the teenage fall in love with anyone that he or she comes across (Langwith 25). Based on these symptoms, the society needs to observe the general behavior of their teenagers and be fast to identify the teenager that engages in drug abuse before he or she becomes completely intoxicated as it has serious impacts on the health and social well-being of the teenager (Friedman 1451).

The parents are the major entity who can prevent drug abuse among the teenagers. This can be done using several family based programs. The most important feature that each parent needs to invest so to avoid the use of drugs among their children is by developing clear communication channels about the undesirable physical, emotional, health and functional effects of drug and substance abuse (Hirschy, Thompson, and Elaine 89). The parents need to stress the expectations of their children regarding drug abuse. Moreover, they need to supervise their children by being responsible enough to know where and with whom their adolescent children are associating with. This is can be significant to reduce the degree of contact of the children with drugs. Furthermore, the parents can limit the intake of alcohol, prescribed and over the counter drugs that are kept in the house to levels that are desirable (Friedman 1448).

Family abuse prevention programs also have an impact on reducing teenage drug abuse. Studies done indicate that teenagers from the minority ethnic communities in the United States such as the African Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanics usually tend to be strongly associated with their communities and cultures (Hirschy, Thompson, and Elaine 72). This is brought about by the fact that the society does not treat them in the right manner therefore the only society they consider is their family and relatives. This creates a strong bond between the teenager and the family, thus reducing the chances of them engaging in drug and substance abuse. This should therefore be the factor that each parent should incorporate so as to reduce the probability of their children engaging in drugs as family bonds increases a teenager’s social cycle.

The use of drugs and substances among the teenagers has been strongly been associated with stress (Langwith 63). Teenagers more than often are faced with several life challenges such as unemployment, social misfit, among other challenges. Most teenagers when faced with such challenges turn to drugs so as to help them solve these problems, but they forget drugs do not solve the problem, but just postpone the problem to another future date and even worsen the problems. These youth should therefore be involved in stress management activities. One such activity is engaging in regular exercises. Studies indicate teenagers that often exercise or engage in sport activities are less prevalent to be involved in drugs (Langwith 80). This simply because they easily relieve their life stresses by hitting the gym or their regular sport activities. This is demonstrated by the fact that sporty teenagers are pre-occupied with their sport activities that they do not have time for the drugs.

Religion also plays a significant role in shaping a non-drug teenager. Religion teaches a teenager to live in the right manner and one of these virtues is that one should not dirty his body through the use of drugs and other substances. Furthermore, teenagers that engage in religious activities are usually too engrossed to the religion that they would not have time to engage in drug abuse.

However, even if a teenager is already abusing drugs all is not lost. The society needs to embrace him or her and find ways in which to solve the problem. One sure method of doing this is through the use of rehabilitation centers. Currently the United States Government has established more than enough rehabilitation centers for both the youth and the elderly so as to help them overcome addiction brought about by the use of drugs (Hirschy, Thompson, and Elaine 98). These rehabilitation centers train and mentor the drug abuser on how to overcome the pressure to bow to the use of drugs. The rehabilitation of an individual depends on the degree of substance abuse and how fast the person can overcome the pressure. Individuals that pass the test over the given period of time that they are in the rehabilitation centers are released, but closely monitored so as to avoid them from turning back to the drugs.

In conclusion, it has been observed that teenage drug abuse is a major public health issue that needs to be addressed with a lot of concern so as to save the United States teenagers from this vice as they are the future generation. The future fully depends on the young generation. The effects of drug abuse should therefore be critically examined and appropriate measures be taken to save the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Friedman, Richard A.. “The Changing Face of Teenage Drug Abuse” The Trend toward Prescription Drugs.” New England Journal of Medicine 354.14 (2006): 1448-1450. Print.

Hirschy, Sharon Thompson, and Elaine Wilkinson. Protecting our children: understanding and preventing abuse and neglect in early childhood. Student ed. Belmont, Ca.: Wadsworth, 2010. Print.

Langwith, Jacqueline. Drug abuse. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2007. Print.