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Daniel Bowen

Health 1050
Professor Paul Roberts
Research Paper

Adolescent Drug Abuse

The surrounding event following drug abuse has become a big problem in this
day and age and coincidentally has become very common for teens. Drug abuse is not
something new but has existed for many years. This is referred to the non-medical use
of drugs with the desire to produce an effect on the mind that alters its current state.
Many different types of drugs can be abused. Legal drugs such as sleeping pills and
pain killers as well as illegal drugs such as meth, cocaine and marijuana. Drugs were
developed for medical reasons so that there could be a cure and delay from a disease
but there is a great number of people who use drugs for other reasons. Drug abuse has
been brought to the worlds attention through different types of media and advertising. A
person may turn to drugs because he or she might enjoy the feeling of being on the
drug which could put them in a care free state or to get a quick fix to satisfy their
pleasures. Drugs can cause so much damage if abused. It can lead to many health risks
as it completely alters the life of the user. Even to the point where the user will neglect
responsibilities and become dependent on the drug. The drug in some cases can

completely take over ones life and can even cause death. Millions of people around the
world are using drugs daily. Most drug use begins during the adolescent years.
Teenager drug abuse is on of the biggest health problems in America today. It has been
shown that teenagers get into drugs because of a lack of parenting or absent parenting,
curiosity, wanting to be cool and peer pressure. There are ways to recover from these

As stated before, the most common cause of drug abuse found in teenagers is
due to absent parenting. Statistics show that one out of three of the 24 million children in
America live without biological fathers. The lack of parental guidance and supervision
can deeply affect a childs upbringing. While growing up a child might not be able to
differ between the morally good and the morally bad things with surround a child
throughout life. Without this guidance a teenager has a higher like of being influenced or
attracted to drugs. The less parental supervision the teen has, the more likely there is
for the teen to try drugs. Also, because of the lack of having a parents attention the
teenager might also feel neglected and suffer emotionally. Drugs and alcohol can
temporarily lessen psychological and emotional pain which would be the exact solution
a teenager would be looking for. The teenager have those problems be solved really
quick without any work due to the drug. We are a get result fast kind of people and to a

teenager, the result of drugs masking the pains that they have could be such a logical
answer, regardless the side effects. For example, a friend of mine name Erick in his
teenage years got into drugs because of the situations he was in, due to the lack of
parenting in his life as well as peer pressure. He stated I used drugs so that I could
mask the pain that I felt, I didn't know how to release that pain any other way. Drugs
can give someone a sense of companionship when none is there.
Curiosity is another reason teenagers will get into drugs. It is a common believe
that teens are going to experiment with drugs. Obviously this isn't true in all cases,
although for those that do there is a pattern that starts to occur. The curiosity turns into a
regular us and then blows up into a full on addiction. The number of teen who
experiment with drugs is a lot bigger than the number of teens who start to use a drug
regularly. Those who develop an serious addiction is a lot less than those who use
drugs regularly. Overall, through those adolescent years teens are experimenting. Not
only with drugs but it is a time to learn and try to figure out who you are. Some people
just look in the wrong place and can become controlled by a drug. With that said, and
stated before, a teen who experiments with drugs because of emotional factors or trying
to find solace in something are usually the ones that fall into addiction. On the other
hand, teenagers who use drugs out of pure curiosity are far less likely to develop an
addiction. Teens become curious because of what they hear about the drugs. The have

heard that they can be fun and can make someone feel and act different. The curiously
can be developed by shows and movies that have people on drugs or alcohol. People
want to see how they act or what it really feels like if they were the ones on the drug. It is
so obvious to see why a teenager would develop a curiosity towards drugs.

Peer pressure and the feeling of wanting to be cool is one of the biggest ways
teenagers get involved and addicted to drugs. If a teenager is surrounded by others who
got into drugs and they are all smoking marijuana, that teenager is going to be expected
to try it as well. If you dont, you automatically become less cool or someone to laugh at.
Peer pressure is so powerful in a teenagers life. Teenagers can be persuaded and
pressured into doing things because its a time where people want to fit in and they will
do whatever it takes to do so. Some teenagers will do whatever their friends do, just to
fit in and follow the crowd. They don't want to be the person that isn't doing it, even if it is
something like taking drugs. This kind of pressure can erase the idea that drugs could
be dangerous or could be addictive. They aren't aware of the health risks involved when
it comes to being cool. Teens are more likely to ignore the risk in favor of the reward. A
very interesting NIDA - defended study showed that teens driving with their friends in the
car were more likely to take risks, like speeding or driving through a yellow light. These
researches kept track of the brain activity of all the teen drivers in the study and it

showed that just knowing friends were watching activated brain regions linked with
reward. Even with this study you can see the power of peer pressure and the kid of
influence friends can have on a teenager. The reward of being cool outweighs the risks
for a lot of teenagers.

Even though drug abuse does happen to teenagers there are ways to recover
from the disease of addiction. There are many resources available such as rehabilitation
centers, therapy, medication and various other meetings. You can usually find meetings
for every kind of drug that is the culprit for the addiction. The SMART recovery
program is just one of these support programs. It stand for Self, Management and
Recovery, Training. This can offer a place where teens can together and change
behaviors that damage themselves. This is a great form of support group that could
really help a teenager who is struggling with addiction. They can find comfort with others
who have the same problem and can try and get through the process of fighting a drug
together. This will give someone a sense of companionship and support.

In conclusion, the drug abuse in adolescents is a continued problem. There are many
ways a teenager can get addicted or into drugs. Whether it be through curiosity, peer
pressure or a lack of parenting. These drugs that are abused can really take control of a

teenagers life and keep them addicted as they grow into adults. Teenagers are so
influence by others and want to have a feeling that they are fitting in and are cool.
Although there are many ways to get addicted to a drug, there is also ways to recovery
that are offered to teens. There are always people wanting to help and bring comfort and
companionship to others.

Work Cited
Hawkins, J. D., Catalano, R. F., & Miller, J. Y. (1992). Risk and protective factors for
alcohol and other drug problems in adolescence and early adulthood: implications for
substance abuse prevention. Psychological bulletin, 112(1), 64.
Niven, Robert G. "Adolescent drug abuse." Psychiatric Services 37.6 (1986): 596-607.
Pentz, Mary Ann, et al. "A multicommunity trial for primary prevention of adolescent drug
abuse: Effects on drug use prevalence." Jama 261.22 (1989): 3259-3266.
Joanning, Harvey, et al. "Treating adolescent drug abuse: A comparison of family
systems therapy, group therapy, and family drug education." Journal of Marital and
Family Therapy 18.4 (1992): 345-356.
Baumrind, Diana, and Kenneth A. Moselle. "A developmental perspective on adolescent
drug abuse." Advances in Alcohol & Substance Abuse 4.3-4 (1985): 41-66.
Perry, Cheryl L., and Richard Jessor. "The concept of health promotion and the
prevention of adolescent drug abuse." Health Education & Behavior 12.2 (1985): 169184.
"The SMART Recovery Teen & Youth Support Program." Teen & Youth Addiction
Recovery Support Program. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.