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Juvenile Drug Abuse - Research Paper Example

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Although the problem has been in existence for along time, the rate at which it is increasing is causing alarm to the American society. The issue has been a concern to different academic fields…
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Juvenile Drug Abuse
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Juvenile Substance Abuse Juvenile Substance Abuse Juvenile substance abuse is a rampant social problem in America in the current times. Although the problem has been in existence for along time, the rate at which it is increasing is causing alarm to the American society. The issue has been a concern to different academic fields with each of the field trying to establish facts on the patterns of substance abuse. Young people commonly abuse alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, prescription drugs, and other household substances. Researchers have produced statistics on the trends of the habit. According to American law, sale of alcohol and other drugs is illegal to teenagers below 21 years of age. However, the various researches reveal that teenagers have access and abuse different studies from as early s middle school. The habit is notably higher in high school. Different factors contribute to the increasing rates of the habit.
According to a fact sheet from the United States Department of Health and Human Services that analyzed facts surrounding Boys and Substance abuse, young boys are prone to developing the habit of drug abuse more than girls develop. The fact sheet indicates that adolescents venture into substance abuse in middle school. Drinking alcohol starts bat this age, but increases greatly in high school. In addition, in 2006, boys reportedly took more alcohol than girls did. In specific statistics, 16% of eight grade boys took alcohol. 47% of boys from twelfth grade and about 34% of tenth grade boys also took alcohol. In 2005, another research showed that three out of five boys used tobacco while two out of five tries out inhalants. In 2006, 22% of boys in grade twelve grade, 13% of tenth graders and 8% of those in eighth grade reportedly smoked at least a cigarette in a month. However, comparison with other years indicates that the rates of tobacco and inhalant use have been falling (United States Department of Health and Human Services, 2008).
Concerning the use of marijuana the fact sheet indicates that more boys used marijuana in all grades than girls did. In addition, 38% eighth graders, 29% tenth graders and 15% eighth graders who were boys had used marijuana in a year’s time. However, research proved that girls used prescription drugs more than boys did. The fact sheet suggested that the trends in substance use were generally falling on comparison wit previous years. The sheet also made highlights on the factors affecting substance abuse. Teenagers turn to substance abuse to show rebellion, to evade the reality of poor performance in school and because of aggressive conduct behaviors. Researchers also realized that hanging friends, family, and community promoting the habits prompted teenagers to try out. However, boys who had big career dreams, spiritual guidance, and parents playing their role did not involve themselves with drugs (United States Department of Health and Human Services, 2008).
According to King et al (2007), substance abuse had negative impacts on the academic development of teenagers. This is because substance abuse has negative impacts on cognition resulting to memory loss and other related effects. Dropping out of school and lack of magnificent academic goals lead an individual to turn to substance abuse. The authors of this manuscript suggest that the school environment affects the development of the habit greatly. They realize that substance abuse determines the level of academic achievement and recommended intervention to young people at an early age before getting hooked up to the habit.
Guterson et.al. (2010) analyzed the drinking categories among teenagers and factors that affect the development of the drinking habit. The research involved the use of phone polls and interviews. The participants were teens, parents, experts and other relevant officers. The researchers interviewed teenagers, parents, experts on the issue to establish a holistic analysis of the trends. They classified drinkers as abstainers, moderators, partiers, and losers depending on the frequency of drinking. An interdependent relationship exists between all categories. Teenagers obtained alcohol in various ways and started drinking in middle school but advanced the habit in high school. Other factors studied included choice of alcohol, and reasons for drinking. Most of the teenagers were social drinkers. Partiers took large quantities of alcohol and influenced others to pick up the habit. The research revealed that parents did not give adequate guidance to teenagers on drinking and did not understand the facts surrounding the trend (Gutenson and Anderson, 2010).
This research established new facts on the drinking habits of teen culture. It revealed that the individual had a role to play in prevention of the habit. In addition, parents, schools, faith community, administrators, and the community at large should establish strategies of curbing the habit. According to this research, al these groups of people are; not doing enough and this explains why the habit is very rampant in society (Gutenson et. al., 2010).
Drug abuse affects the teenager adversely and can destroy the lives of these young people who lack adequate information when they venture into the destructive habits. From the analysis of information from the articles above, it is clear that substance abuse is a reality among youths in America. Misinformed choices among the teenagers, lack of sufficient parental support and guidance, a compromising community, and environment that allow access to the substances are key factors that contribute to the high rates of substance abuse. In addition, substance abuse has negative effects to the young teens. Therefore, family, school, fait community and youth organization should lay down better strategies of breeding more responsible youths with high academic goals to prevent them indulging in drugs.
References
Guterson, A. et. al. (2010). Final Report on Teen Alcohol Cultures. Retrieved on Mar. 13, 2012 from http://teenalcoholcultures.gmu.edu/publications/FinalReport2010.pdf
King, M. et al. (2007). Substance use and academic outcomes: Synthesizing findings and future directions. Retrieved on Mar. 13, 2012 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2156039/
United States Department of Health and Human Services. (2008). What Challenges are boys facing and what opportunities exist to address those challenges? Retrieved on Mar. 13, 2012 from http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/08/boys/FactSheets/sa/index.shtml Read More
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