Prevention Strategies and Causes of Adolescent Substance Abuse Prevention Strategies - Essay Example

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Among the social problems facing this category of people include substance abuse, also referred to as drug abuse which McKim (2003) defines as maladaptive pattern following consumption of a drug considered not to be dependent…
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Prevention Strategies and Causes of Adolescent Substance Abuse Prevention Strategies
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Download file to see previous pages Among the social problems facing this category of people include substance abuse, also referred to as drug abuse which McKim (2003) defines as maladaptive pattern following consumption of a drug considered not to be dependent. These encompass psychoactive drugs and substances that alter one’s moods and cause impulsivity. Britain has widespread adolescent abuse of alcohol, tobacco and other illegal drugs according to a research conducted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD (Chapman, 2009). McArdle (2009), Stoddard (2009) and the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, UNODOCCP (2002) document alcohol as the major drug being abused by adolescents in the UK. These sources attribute this to the wide gap between parents and the community on one hand and adolescents on the other. Abuse of substances such as alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and inhalants has caused adolescents to suffer from diminished health, reduced development opportunities and compromised performance in school apart from increasing health costs, crime, accidents and violence (Fawcett et al., 2008; McCrystal et al., 2007). Parrot et al. (2004) observed that alcohol intake leads to antisocial behaviours and increased aggression which Gilvary (2003) and Petry (2006) argue draws concern from clinicians, politicians, families and researchers. To avoid such effects, effective prevention strategies should be adopted with deterrent messages being repeated by multiple messengers – peers, parents, the community and school – from childhood through adolescence. Canning et al. (2004) categorises such approaches into two; universal approach aimed at reaching everyone and targeted approach focused on a sub-group considered to be high risk. National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIDA (2003) further categorises the approaches into three: universal, applicable to everyone; selective, applied to target teens and children; and indicted, aimed at youth abusing drugs. This paper will analyse some of the prevention approaches applied in the targeted or selective approach which aims at preventing substance abuse among the adolescents. These approaches will direct the causes of adolescent substance abuse with support from various research studies. Substance abuse prevention programs have been widely applied in the UK where school and community based approaches have been combined for increased efficiency in adolescent substance abuse prevention programs (Braverman, 2001; Carboni, 2007; Christian, 2007). According to Sikes (2010), the modern day society expects schools to be actively involved in not only academic development but also in emotional, moral, physical, social and intellectual development of students. Young people are known to spend most of their time in school hence the effectiveness of using schools as effective platforms in preventive education. Liddle and Rowe (2006) and Wincup, Buckland and Bayliss (2003) present an interesting perspective noting that students would be generally a captive audience in schools and would not ignore any communication through such programs. But such approaches call for the involvement of the community to further boost effectiveness which Fawcett et al. (2008) refers to community coalitions. Strategic community leaders from law enforcement agencies, businesses, religious organisations and schools would share problems facing the young people in the community and formulate appropriate solutions on how to educate adolescents on the need to keep off drinking, smoking and using illegal drugs (Cuijpers, 2003; McGillicuddy et al., 2009; Winters et al., 2000). This approach reflects the multifaceted cause of substance abuse where the influence could come from either the school or the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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