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One would have raised eyes and strange hand movements at the sound of drugs but to the surprise of the readers today, a drug is not necessary those harmful substances that the media uses to get high TRP rates or a celebrity uses to attract the lime light Teen Drug Abuse
Basically is any substance/matter that is taken to alter a normal bodily purpose that may be for the benefit or just pure pleasure. Coffee, Medicines, Opioids, Hallucinogens are all different forms of Drugs. A drug can serve a pharmacological function or a recreational purpose.
The word ‘drug’ originated from the French Word ‘drogue’ meaning “dry barrels” and medicinal plants preserved within them. There are a number of ways drug both medicinal and recreational can be administered, orally, inhaled, and injected, rectally, vaginally or insufflations.
This essay deals with drugs that are used as a recreational activity, substances that are used by people all over the world to experience positivity or to provide relief from discomfort. Sadly, this picture is filled with grey clouds and horrendous consequences especially when such activities are up held by the youth of our times. Youth and Drugs has always associated and for all the wrong reasons. I do not say that youngsters today are blamed for no reason but I do believe that in order to stop such an evil, it is necessary first to remove its taboo and allow people to talk about it (The Institute for Youth Development, 1998).
Many nations in the world refuse to accept that a big percentage of their youth is immersed in this bowl of addiction. And the ones who have accepted it do nothing to help them; their only move is to make sure that these adolescents are put under the spot light only to further demean them! (Teen Drug Abuse)
It would be erroneous of us to exclude the fact that many young people are taking positive and constructive steps towards warding of this evil but what they lack is the support of their society and government itself.
What we will be focusing here is basically ‘drug abuse’ this is when even the simple over-the-counter medications are used for the wrong reasons such drugs that do not require any medical prescriptions and are easily available in the utility stores can even abused by youngsters today. Heroin, Crack, Cocaine, Ecstasy, Methamphetamine, LSD, Opium, Marijuana, PCP are all examples of harmful drugs (The Institute for Youth Development, 1998).
There a hundred reasons as to why a youngster with all the possibilities awaiting him or her in this world tends to turn over to addiction or dug abuse. We all are aware of many of them perhaps peers pressure or a troubled domestic life. We will now examine in depth a few of the many roads that lead the youth of this world to drug abuse.
Drug abuse can either be related to the in take of a psychoactive drug that serves no medical effect but is only responsible for performance enhancement. Alcohol, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, cocaine, methaqualone, and opium alkaloids are all examples of such drugs that the young find irresistible (Teen Drug Abuse).
Drug abuse leads to many health, social and mental problems likes morbidity, injuries, violence, accidents, suicides, homicides, unprotected sex and deaths. Young people, who do drugs, share a set of common characteristics regardless of the fact to which of the world they belong to. It is come to know that youth belonging to the urban areas are the ones most plausible to be doing drugs than the youngsters belonging to the suburban regions. One more common factor to be known is that a higher proportion of males are into drugs than the females.
Marijuana for example is the most common type of drug that is found among the corridors of High Schools all over the world. In defining our studies, we can roughly state that out of 10 students using marijuana 7 would be males and 3 would females. We can also see that young people who have emphasis on religion and prayers are less likely to get involved in drug abuse. Individuals doing well at college/university and have a good extra-curricular activities record also show low usage rates.
Drug abuse is given birth at home in most of the cases, perhaps parents separating or a troubled poor house life. For example, a youngster who sees his father come home lat every night, drunk and hits her mother just because she refuses to lend him money for his dinking will switch to drinking. Even tough he sees what alcohol is doing to his father and his life; he will turn to it to find comfort. In some case he consumes alcohol to rebel against this father, he knows he cannot help her mother so he turns to alcohol to show resistance against the father.
Another common occurrence is peer pressure; this makes the largest segment of all the drug abuse starter points. The years of youth are all about finding your personality, finding a place where you belong and this world where an expensive car on your 16th Birthday or a cool pool side party at your house are the only ways to get yourself noticed in the masses; youngsters who have none chose to join the drug gangs. Yes, it is hard to believe this but drug gangs do exist and they exist between us right under our noses. They are engaged in street level drug distribution, gang robberies and even gang rapes. Just to find a place where they have their own kind, with similar backgrounds and one who can understand their distort situations, young people switch to drug abuse. They start from Marijuana then to cocaine and heroin.
And in some cases, leading a perfectly harmouosu life is the reason behind that one first insufflations. Maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA throughout, where your family expects you to land in Harvard or Yale with no extra effort, you even win the Homecoming King/Queen and even your girlfriend/boyfriend gets into a college near you but then suddenly you find yourself reading the rejection letter from all the major universities. What does a brilliant student do in such a situation, doe she or she go to a guidance counselor or talk about it with his or her parents???
I’m afraid NOT…he or she turns to the first thing that relieves him or her from this embarrassment. This could even lead to a lethal addiction from the common pain killer from your household. These were a few reasons that build up to such addictions but doing drugs can also be the result of being ‘’just a teenage’ perhaps being argumentative, pushing the boundaries or wanting to have their privacy or own space is too much to deal with. And in order to show that they can take care of themselves they switch to drugs. They might also do this to show radical and rebel that is building up in their guts.
Another neglected factor here is history of drug addiction. Lets say a child grows up seeing his father getting with his buddies and her mother smoking when ever she sees her husband out what do you expect from such a child? What would you do if you find yourself in middle of an un-faithful father, a sexually abused mother and a sister who is drinking away her divorce? These and many other social and domestic predicaments lead to such horrific events that ultimately lead to the deformation of our youth and its bright future!
And last but not the least is one significant not known reason behind all this evil is the sudden easily availability of drugs. They are cheaper in cost and easier to obtain, now how could anyone stop such a disease to spread!
There are a few symptoms that every youngster shares when they switch to drugs. They could show mood swings, with increased irritability and anger. They show unresponsiveness to friends and family and even to their self conditions, they develop fragile feelings, depression and even insomnia. Lower threshold to violence, sudden weight loss or gain weight and hallucinations. You will also notice a sudden change of wardrobe, perhaps wearing clothes with full sleeves to hid scarring at the injection sites or come to know of this all new set of friends.
These are just a few starter symptoms that indicate a drug usage but what happens after the addiction kicks in is a whole another dark story.
Drug abuse can never result in happiness or well-being, for the time being it may serve as a source of relieve and comfort but it never pays off in the long run. Drug usage often lands an entry in drug gangs that are engaged in various other crimes. The first thing that a teenage develops is the ability to lie about his conditions, his friends, the mysterious phone calls, his whereabouts and why suddenly items from his room are disappearing without a trace. One gets involved in shop-lifting, store thefts and even auto theft. This is just the beginning of the many horrendous results that end up with an addiction that might even prove to be lethal.
Soon this addiction starts to occupy the central place in their life; friends who actually care about them, parents, and siblings start to lose importance. They start to forget birthdays of best friends, use high tones with parents, bring out trauma and anger on younger siblings for no reason, and grades start to fall! Several other problems grab them from all side, soon just to fulfill your need for the drug, you settle for things you could have not imagined doing before.
They will be willing to sink to the lowest of standards to get what they desire; they will even con their own family out of money and ready to cheat on your best friend.
Behavioral changes that one goes through can also lead to complications, and even serious crimes. Youngsters with their drug gangs not only resort to theft but also create a social menace; they rack properties, ransack public areas and disturb the social set up of the society just to calm down their nerves because of all the drug use (Brenner, 1970)
Many cases of serious and juvenile crimes have been reported across the world and the tragedy lies in his fact that people, authorities and parents especially hide these horrors only to give birth to more drub abuse. One shocking and ghastly result of such addictions lies in eve teasing, gang rapes and unprotected sex. Often we have come across cases where groups of drug gang high on MDMA – Ecstasy lower unsuspected victims to satisfy the over powering of the drug over the nervous system, including panic, anxiety, depression, and paranoia. Ultimately drug use affects the lungs, the heart, and blood pressure and even reproductive organs (Brown, 2008).
They should remove this barrier and guard of conversation with the teen, they should let him know that they are ready to give their time and concern for all their problems from falling grades, a bully at school, the popular girl at school or date went terribly wrong. It is good to know that the child believes in you and trusts you with his or her problems, this way he or she will not turn to drugs to relieve him the pain and troubles of academics or social circle.A lot of can be done to prevent this evil and we need to focus at the roots! The first line of defense starts at home; parents provide the first line of protection against drugs. Parents should talk about openly on such topics, one thing every household lacks, and be it the Developed Nations or the Developing Nations. Parents should first of all make sure that their teen knows that it is okay for him or her to come and talk about their personal lives.
Make sure that your teen does not have a strained relationship with you and he can talk to you about his personal life if needed.
They have to remember that the road to recovery is not easy and its takes time, forcing your teen and showing anger will only result in creating his resistance. It will hurt them to see their young suffer but they cannot stop him to quit altogether, what they can do is give them support, tell them them understand them and their troubles. They should encourage them to make their own decisions, this way they will show them that they trust them and help them build their self-esteem (Brown, 2008).
They have to accept the fact that quitting is not like starting a specific drug; it requires a lot of strength and stamina. The process of withdrawal is unpleasant, painful and is sometimes even deadly. They have to help them along the way, showing your faith and trust in them, with this they also require medical supervision especially if they were involved in heavy drinking.
They also have to make sure that once your teen has left the drug use does not mean that all is well for them now. They will once again under go mood swings; they will suffer from depression and disturbance in sleep cycles. Here you need to support them along the way and tell them that they are here for them no matter how long it takes to get sober and completely recovered. Treatment programs such as detoxification, residential rehabilitation, intensive outpatient programs and aftercare/continuing care help in maintain their recovery and sustain a drug free life style in the long run.
Thus we can conclude that adolescent drug use is a spreading disease that requires ours special attention. This leads to the destruction of families, friends, schools, communities and juvenile justice settings.
It is very important for us to root out this social evil before this spreads like an epidemic among us, where our youth suffers and loses all the chances of a bright future ahead.