Effects and factors of drug use in adolescents

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Drug use is a problem in virtually all societies. Adolescents are emerging as a group that is increasingly becoming affected by the issue of drug use. It is thus important that the factors that contribute to the problem are identified, and relevant solutions are adopted to curb the problem. The paper investigates the factors and effects of drugs among the adolescents.

Factors of Drug Use in Adolescents

Many adolescents turn to drugs in a bid to ease emotional stresses Clark & Nguyen, 2012). Teenagers who habitually abuses drugs have deep emotional problems which have advanced to crippling stages. Their need is to solve the stress (Kaminer & Burkstein, 2008). Many adolescents indulge in drug use to win friendship with their peers. The only thing the group members require in the exchange of friendship is the use of drugs among peers (Dash & Anderson, 2015). Psychologists also observe that some teenagers hooked on substance abuse are desperately lonely hence loneliness is a factor (Luna et al. 2015). Such teenagers do not experience acceptance anywhere and sought to drug use a solace. During adolescence stage, young people are liable to engage in substance abuse. It significantly accounts for the rampant use of drugs by many young people at this stage when a young person sees his age mates indulging in this vice heor she takes it as a normal practice (Monti et al. 2004). Interestingly, it has also been observed that parental tendencies also have a bearing on whether a teenager is likely to involve in substance abuse or not (O’Neal & West, 2015). Overtly parental tendencies do not necessarily influence substance abuse, but to a great degree, they certainly influence drug utilization among the teenagers. Parents who are habitual drunkards are likely to influence their children to engage in drug-related activities (O, Neal & West, 2015). The amount of alcohol ingested by a parent and how he behaves has the potential of impacting on a teenager to engage in drug abuse. Significantly, many other adolescents often turn to the non-medical use of drug owing to boredom. In contrast to the drug user who needs the drugs to be constantly be stimulated, this group apparently wants a mental insulation to let in the outside world. In other words, they use these drugs to gain new experience or feelings (Sandi, Diaz & Uglade, 2002). If parents show more interests in what their children are doing and try to engage them in more constructive activities, then the probability of them engaging in drug use would be curtailed. If a child has a lot of free time neither he nor she might be tempted to seek the companionship of other uninvolved individuals which could easily provide him with the opportunity to engage in substance abuse (O’Neal & West, 2015).

Self-medication has also been observed as a contributing factor in drug use and abuse among younger people. Each year leading pharmaceutical companies spends millions of dollars on television advertisements which gives the impression that to a number of life problems can easily only be alleviated by taking drugs to relive the pain (Strait, 1999). Adults attitude towards medication is crucially important because the adults form a significant portion of the drug problem rather than being a passive spectator as they have often thought of themselves in the past they ought to be active participants in counter balancing the substance abuse among teenagers. How they positively use the normal medicinal drugs can effectively assist in countering the drug menace among teenagers.

Effects of Drug Use among Adolescents

The use of drugs among young people has an array of adverse impacts on their physical, emotional, and health wellbeing. The teenage cerebral evolution is still expanding, and any neurological assault by drug use at this stage has the possibility of permanently impairing their intellectual and emotional ability (Watt & Rodgers, 2007). More importantly, when a young person engages in drug use, the possibility of engagement in unprotected sex and unwanted pregnancy becomes in the ascendance which exposes to the danger of being infected by H.I.Vand Aids infection and possibly early death (Wu, Liu & Fan, 2010). Perpetual drug users among teenagers also have serious learning difficulties. Many often display marked a decline in academic studies. Their ability to concentrate and follow simple directions and guidelines are severely compromised by drug use (Rok, 2009).

Many teenage drug users quite often experience serious emotional distresses and these emotional stress are often further exacerbated by drug use. Rebellion to authority has always been observed as a dominant trait in teenagers who are engaged in drug abuse. During the phases of rebellion, the teenager will defy the authority of the parent which creates serious tension between the child and the parent (Monti et al. 2004). Many defy long –established family values and also demonstrate their disdain for authority through the clothes they wear and music they listen to. All these constrain the lines of communication between the parents and teenage child giving rise to the strained relationship at home and in the family setup. Unknown to the parent the teenage may also engage in clandestine activities in the home which may elicit overreactions from the parent and constant braces with the authorities (Monti et al. 2004).

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  1. Clark, T. T., & Nguyen, A. B. (2012). Family Factors and Mediators of Substance Use Among African American Adolescents. Journal of Drug Issues,42(4), 358-372. doi:10.1177/0022042612461770
  2. Dash, G., & Anderson, K. G. (2015). Marijuana use, motives, and change intentions in adolescents. Drug and Alcohol Dependence,146, 56-65. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.09.167
  3. Elvik, R., & Lund, J. (2015). Contributing factors to traffic injuries in adolescents. European Journal of Public Health,25(Suppl_3), 67-78. doi:10.1093/eurpub/ckv167.061
  4. Kaminer, Y., &Bukstein, O. G. (2008).Adolescent substance abuse: psychiatric comorbidity and high-risk behaviors. New York: Routledge.
  5. Luna, S. E., Cavallo, D. A., Kong, G., Knight, J., & Krishnan-Sarin, S. (2015). Factors contributing to tobacco use and cessation in Hispanic adolescents.Drug and Alcohol Dependence,156. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.07.1136
  6. Monti, P. M., Colby, S. M., &OLeary, T. A. (2004).Adolescents, alcohol and substance abuse: reaching teens through brief interventions. New York: Guilford.
  7. O’Neal, K. K., & West, S. L. (2015). Drug Use Among American Adolescents: An Examination of Prevention and Intervention Programs. New Approaches to Drug Policies, 165-176. doi:10.1057/9781137450999_10
  8. Rok, K. J. (2009). Effects of PSAs and Social Control Variables on Adolescents’ Attitudes toward Drug and Drug Use Behavior.Journal of Public Relations,13(1), 5-35. doi:10.15814/jpr.2009.13.1.5
  9. Sandi, L., Diaz, A., &Uglade, F. (2002). Drug Use And Associated Factors Among Rural Adolescents In Costa Rica. Substance Use & Misuse,37(5-7), 599-611.doi:10.1081/ja-120004275
  10. Strait, S. C. (1999). Drug Use among Hispanic Youth: Examining Common and Unique Contributing Factors. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences,21(1), 89-103. doi:10.1177/0739986399211007
  11. Watt, T. T., & Rogers, J. M. (2007). Factors Contributing to Differences in Substance Use Among Black and White Adolescents. Youth & Society,39(1), 54-74.doi:10.1177/0044118×06296701
  12. Wu, P., Liu, X., & Fan, B. (2010). Factors associated with initiation of ecstasy use among US adolescents: Findings from a national survey. Drug and Alcohol Dependence,106(2-3), 193-198. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2009.08.020
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