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The prevalence of substance use on children - Research Paper Example

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However, studies show that children who experiment with substances at a tender age have a higher likelihood of using other drugs later in life (Buu et. al, 2009). For example, it is estimated that 40% of…
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The prevalence of substance use on children
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Download file to see previous pages In a 2003 national survey, half of all seniors’ in high school reported they had tried taking illicit drugs at least once. It was further revealed that 41% of students in 10th grade and 23% of those in 8th grade had tried drugs that were illegal (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2007).
Such findings are worrying because substance use is associated with several negative consequences, such as academic problems, physical aggression, developmental problems, delinquent and criminal behavior and health problems in the long term (Buu et. al, 2009). In addition to this, children who develop into chronic substance users are bound to experience social or psychological problems. The survey also showed that 41 to 65% of persons with constant lifetime substance abuse are prone to having at least one mental health disorder. Approximately 51% of those persons with one or more lifetime mental health disorders also had a constant lifetime history of substance use disorder (Doweiko, 2009). It was found that the 15 to 24 year old age bracket had the highest rates (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2007). Substance use is categorized as being different from substance abuse. The American Psychiatric Association defines substance abuse as a pattern of substance use that manifests itself through significant and recurrent adverse consequences that are related to repetitive substance use.
There are various factors that increase the risk for substance use among the youth. Some of the causes of substance use include delinquency, perceived substance use by peers, low family pride and family substance use problems. A study done in 2009 found that substance use by parents, socioeconomic status of the family, family mobility, instability in neighborhood residence and frequent change in neighborhood placed children at the risk for developing substance use disorders. Youth with mental health disorder also ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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