In today’s media-oriented era drug abuse problem in adolescent is very rampant. This problem often begins in adolescence, with 80% of high school students reporting some use of alcohol and 55% admitting to the use of illicit drugs in recent national surveys (Johnston et al. , 2003). Nearly everyday we hear about new pharmaceuticals, drug clubs, HIV and aids, and the effects of tobacco and alcohol, and most of us have some personal experiences with these issue: through family, friends, or co workers (Ksir et al., 2006).
Adolescents are aware of critical issues relating to substance abuse. They are exposing with a number of challenges, as well as achieving a greater sense of independence, strengthening relationships with peer groups, and planning future career endeavors. One of the many challenges that adolescents face is the decision about whether to use substances. A lot of normal adolescents experiment with alcohol and drugs; however, many adolescents progress past experimentation and become substance abuser.
Drug abuses do develop problems and that substantially affect the adolescents’ development and their future adult lives. The purpose of this paper is to understand deeper the reason of adolescents to start drug abuse, continue using it, and the effects of abusing drugs to their development. Drug and alcohol use is so common among young people and that it is usually associated with short-and long-term health and psychosocial risks.
Therefore, it is imperative for workers in health care and other professions involved with youth (e. g., education, child protection, legal) to understand the prevalence of youth substance use and abuse, the associated morbidities and, most importantly, effective strategies for identification and intervention. For purposes of this research, the terms substances and drugs are used interchangeably. Review of Related Literature Adolescence is an important developmental period for young people. They are faced with a number of challenges, including gaining a greater sense of independence, strengthening relationships with peer groups, and planning future career goals, during this period of their lives.
In addition, one of the many challenges that adolescents face in the United States is the decision about whether to use substances. Although some experimentation with substances is typical for many young people, fortunately most adolescents who experiment with drugs do not go on to develop substance abuse problems later in life. A small portion of adolescents, however, do develop problems with substances that substantially affect their development and future adult lives. Most adolescents are exposed to substances (e. g., alcohol, marijuana) at some point in their young lives and subsequently make decisions about their use of them.
One important source of information on the prevalence of adolescent substance use comes from the Monitoring the Future National Results on Adolescent Drug Use: Overview of Findings, 2002 (MTF) study (Johnston et al, 2003). MTF is a longitudinal research project that has consistently collected data on the reported use of substances in national samples of adolescents since 1975, and the data from the MTF provide a reasonable picture of the level of substance use for adolescents across the United States.
Data from the 2002 MTF report, based on a nationally representative sample of more than 43,000 adolescents in the 8th, 10th, and 12th grades. According to this study, the most frequently reported drugs used by adolescents in each grade were alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana. More specifically, adolescents reported at least a one-time use of a specific drug during their lifetime. The data on lifetime use provide an estimate of the number of adolescents who have experimented with a particular substance. Alcohol was reported as being the most used substance across all adolescents in the sample.
For example, more than 70% of adolescents in the 12th grade reported having used alcohol in their lifetime, and almost 50% reported using alcohol in the past month. The above data clearly indicate that many adolescents report an experimental use of certain substances; however, a much smaller percentage report frequent use of substances (Johnston et al, 2003). Smaller percentages of adolescents report current use or abuse, or both, of substances as indicated by data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration [SAMHSA], 2003b).
The 2002 NSDUH included a sample of 68,126 individuals ages 12 and older in the United States, and data from this survey are used to provide national prevalence estimates on drug-related behaviors. For example, 11. 6% of adolescents ages 12 to 17 years were estimated to be current (i. e. , use within the past month) illicit drug users in 2002 (SAMHSA, 2003b). Furthermore, 8. 9% of this age group could be classified with a diagnosis of substance abuse or dependence based on criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
In addition, the estimated rates of current illicit drug use for adolescents ages 12 to 17 years varied according to race/ethnicity: White (12. 6%), African American (10%), American Indian/Alaskan Native (20. 9%), Asian (4. 8%), Hispanic (10. %), and two or more races (12. 5%). In sum, the data from the NSDUH reveal that in 2002 more than 11% of the adolescent population was using drugs on a regular basis and that almost 9% met the diagnostic criteria for a substance use disorder.
Body of the Research Abusing Drugs Drug use qualifies as drug abuse when two criteria are met: (1). using the drug puts someone at significantly increased risk for having bad things happen to him or her and, (2). taking the drug interferes in some way with his or her normal, daily responsibilities and accomplishments. Thus, drug abuse is the use of drugs to the point of causing risk or harm, either due to legal risk or to the risk of harming oneself and others. What are the reasons for the adolescent start using drugs? Great majority try drugs out of curiosity to see what they are like. If adolescents are more attracted by the promise of a drug than repelled by its potential harm, they may be led to experiment.
Some adolescents begin using drugs as a means of rebellion, protest, and expression of dissatisfaction with traditional norms and values. This group includes activists and protestors whose life-styles include involvement with drugs (Pedersen, 1990). Another reason for trying drugs is for fun or sensual pleasure. Users may be seeking an exciting experience. Adolescents are growing up in a fun oriented culture that emphasizes the need and value of having a good time. If smoking grass is thought to be fun, this becomes a strong motive for its use. Another aspect of having fun is to experience sensual pleasure.
This pleasure may be sexual; many adolescents feel that pot makes the exploration of sex less inhibited and more enjoyable. The pleasure motive may involve seeking an increased sensitivity of touch or taste. Another strong motive for trying drugs is the social pressure to be like friends or to be part of a social group. Whether friends use drugs or not is one of the most significant factors in determining adolescent drug usage (Hundleby and Mercer, 1987). Research findings indicate that youths who use specific drugs almost invariably have friends who also use the same drugs (Dinges and Oetting, 1993). Why Adolescents continue taking Drugs?
The reasons that adolescents first use drugs and then to continue to use them are varied (Capuzzi and Lecoq, 1983). Those who continue to use nonaddictive drugs as a means of trying to solve emotional problems become psychologically dependent on them (Johnson and Kaplan, 1991). Drugs become a means of finding security, comfort, or relief (Andrews et al. , 1993). When individuals become psychologically dependent on drugs that are also physiologically addicting—such as alcohol, barbiturates, and heroin—dependence is secondarily reinforced by the desire to avoid the pain and distress of physical withdrawal.
Of all the risk factors that contribute to substance abuse, familial factors are most important. The need to use drugs excessively originates within the families in which children grow up. Drug abusers are not as close to their parents and are more likely to have negative adolescent-parental relationships and a low degree of supportive interaction with them than are nonusers (Smart, Chibucos, and Didier, 1990). They are more likely to come from homes in which the parents have been divorced (Doherty and Needle, 1991), including those in which the parents have remarried (Jenkins and Zunguze, 1998).
The parents of drug abusers are less likely to be authoritative than the parents of nonabusers (Adalbjarnardottir and Hafsteinsson, 2001; Fletcher and Jefferies, 1999). Drug abusers’ parents are more likely either to use drugs themselves or to condone drug use (Oetting, Beauvais, and Edwards, 1988). In addition, such parents less closely monitor their children (Svensson, 2003). Overall, research has found that the family relationships of adolescents who abuse drugs are similar to those of adolescents who are emotionally disturbed.
The net effect of these family situations is to create personality problems that cause individuals to be more likely to run to drugs. The other most commonly cited contributor to adolescent continues to substance abuse (especially by parents) is peer influence. Many studies have found strong, positive correlations between peers’ substance abuse patterns. In other words, users have friends and acquaintances that are users or at least believe that their friends are users (Thornberry and Krohn, 1997).
It seems likely, however, that peer influence is only indirectly related to an adolescent’s substance continue use. Other popular theories regarding why certain individuals develop problems with substances abuse include a range of diverse views such as 12-step-oriented approaches, psychoanalytic, behavioral/cognitive-behavioral, and family systems (McCrady and Epstein, 2003). For example, one of the more popular theories about the development and maintenance of substance abuse is cognitive-behavioral.
Cognitive-behavioral theory combines learning theory (e. g., classical, operant), cognition, and social learning, 2003). Generally, cognitive-behavioral theorists believe that substance abuse originates in an interaction between the person and his or her environment. Regarding adolescents, when they are faced with stressful situations (e. g. , argument with a parent), they may manage these situations by using relevant coping skills. Most adolescents develop and use a range of healthy coping skills (e. g. , talking it out, calming down); however, others possess a more limited set of coping behaviors, some of them unhealthy (e. g., using drugs), to manage the stressful situation.
Thus, cognitive-behavioral therapists typically work with adolescents to increase their coping skills in order to successfully manage difficult situations. Effects on abusing drugs to the human health developments Abusing Drug greatly affects the human health especially in development of adolescents. Each drug has multiple effects to the body depending on the amount and quality that individual had taken. Although an abuser might focus on a single aspect of drug’s effects, we do not yet have concrete evidence that only one aspect of consciousness.
All psychoactive drugs act on more than one place in the brain, so we might expect them to produce complex psychological effects. Also, virtually every drug that act in the brain also has effects on the rest of the body, influencing blood pressure, intestinal activity, or other functions (Ksir et al. 2006). The most commonly abused drugs may be grouped into four categories: narcotics, stimulants, depressants, and hallucinogens. Narcotics Included in the narcotics are opium and its derivatives; morphine, heroin, and codeine.
They work by mimicking endogenous endorphins: chemicals produced by the body to dull the sensation of pain. Each grain of opium contains about one-tenth of a grain of morphine. Morphine is used medicinally to relieve extreme pain because of its depressant effect on the central nervous system. Codeine is the mildest morphine derivative. Heroin is so dangerous is that the amount of heroin in a “bag,” or single dose, varies widely and an overdose can easily kill. The consequences of morphine and heroin use are severe. They are the most physically addictive of all drugs.
Users quickly develop tolerance and physical as well as psychological dependence and must therefore gradually increase the dosage. Women who have babies while addicted deliver infants who are addicts or who are born dead from drug poisoning. Addiction may have other effects, too. Addicts usually lose their appetite for food, which leads to extreme weight loss and severe malnutrition. Stimulants The term stimulants refers to a wide variety of drugs that “rev up” the central nervous system; they energize rather than tranquilize. One of the most well-known stimulants is cocaine.
Cocaine depresses the appetite and increases alertness. The primary undesirable effects are nervousness, irritability, restlessness, mild paranoia, physical exhaustion, mental confusion, loss of weight, fatigue or depression when “coming down,” and various afflictions of the nasal mucous membranes and cartilage. One of the amphetamines, called methedrine or methamphetamine (“speed,” “meth,” or “chalk”), is particularly dangerous because it is commonly injected under the skin or directly into a vein, often causing rupturing of the blood vessels and death.
Other hazards are infections such as tetanus, HIV, syphilis, malaria, or hepatitis from dirty needles. The heavy user displays a potential for violence, paranoia, physical depiction, or bizarre behavior. Suicides are frequent during the periods of deep depression following withdrawal. Methedrine works by stimulating the release of dopamine; in the process, it damages the terminal branches of neurons that produce the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin.