Drug Abuse in Teenagers - Research Paper Example

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Drug abuse has become a steadily growing problem among teenagers in the United States. An activity that was once sought for leisure or occasional recreation by few has become a lifestyle among many of America’s younger generations…
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Drug Abuse in Teenagers
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Download file to see previous pages While this number has decreased from 30% in the early 1990s, the numbers are still alarming. Causes Since most teenagers are not keen on owning up to abusing drugs, whether illicit or prescription, it becomes difficult to determine what the causes of drug abuse among teenagers are. However, the Partnership for a Drug-Free America foundation conducted a study that allowed for anonymous feedback from teenagers who engage in drug-related activity. Of the teenagers that partook in the study, 73% claimed to have started taking drugs due to stress, making stress the primary reason for teenagers to turn to drugs (Watkins, 2011). 65% claimed to use drugs to help them feel better about themselves; 65% used drugs to appear cool to their peers; 55% turned to drugs to help deal with problems at home; and 54% resorted to steroids to illegally improve their athletic performance (Watkins). Peer pressure was surprisingly not a common factor for drug use. While many teenagers used drugs to look cool among their friends, very few admitted to taking drugs because it was expected of them by their friends. This is a characteristic of teenage drug use that has all but disappeared over the past few decades. Furthermore, of the teenagers questioned in the above survey, only 26% admitted to using drugs because they thought that drugs were fun (Barnett, 2011). Again, “this reflects a major shift from a decade ago when the PATS survey found that ‘fun’ was the primary reason given for using drugs (Barnett).” Though the number of teenagers using drugs is still fairly high, the greatest change seen over the years is that teenagers now have what they deem to be legitimate reasons to use drugs as opposed to ‘just because.’...
change seen over the years is that teenagers now have what they deem to be legitimate reasons to use drugs as opposed to ‘just because.’ Another survey, this one conducted by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, concluded that teenagers between the ages of twelve and seventeen who were depressed were “twice as likely as those who did not have depression to try drugs for the first time (Monti, 2010).” It has been considered that depressed teenagers prefer to self-medicate themselves to ease their depression and any accompanying symptoms instead of seeking professional help. Unfortunately, while properly prescribed medications used for depression help individuals to rid of their depression, the drugs that teenagers use only mask their symptoms, make their condition worse, and only offer a temporary escape. Symptoms It is in the nature of teenagers to be sneaky and deceitful, hiding from their parents and other authoritative adults every possible aspect of their personal lives. As such, not all of the common symptoms of drug abuse are obvious when teenagers are concerned, primarily the physical symptoms. Between makeup, baggy clothes, eyedrops, wigs and other hair pieces, and any other appearance altering object or tool, teenagers are able to hide the more obvious characteristics that accompany drug abuse. Indeed, 42% of teenagers who have received help for drug abuse have admitted to altering their appearance so that they do not let on their problems with drugs; almost 50% of those individuals claimed to have done prior research to symptoms of drug use to get a head start on hiding their appearance (White, 2012). All the same, with drug abuse comes bloodshot eyes, rotting teeth, hair and weight loss, and either grayish or yellowing skin. Even though ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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