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Crime and Substance Abuse Among Teens
What are the motives for crime and drug use among teenagers?
The following might help to put into perspective the magnitude of drug abuse among teenagers. By the end of eighth grade, one-third of American students have tried illicit drugs (Rojek 67). This also includes inhalants such as rubber cement, paint thinner, and other toxic chemicals. Almost two fifths of tenth graders have smoked marijuana, forty seven percent or almost one half of twelfth graders have used alcohol. By their late twenties, over seventy five percent of America’s young adults have tried at least one illicit drug (Rojek 69).
Finally, we see the seemingly unending capacity of pharmacological experts and amateurs who discover new substances that have abuse potential. This includes Robitussin DM, ephedrine, various cold medications, and the rediscovery of older drugs such as LSD (White 182). While as a society we have made significant progress on a number of issues, we still see the fight against drug abuse as being a continual matter of the greatest public health concern in America.
Juvenile violence is a substantial problem in the United States. Through 1999, juveniles have been involved in at least 25% of serious violent crimes. Suicide was the sixth leading cause of death in children five to fourteen and the third leading cause in ages fifteen to twenty-four. Children of all ages are exposed to domestic and community violence (Morantz. Torrey. 2004). By providing information and evaluating preventive services, we can try to be effective in early detection of childhood development and by implementation of violence intervention programs the children tend to be less violent (White 183).
The families of violent youth need to have more information and be better educated on the needs of their awareness to strategies that help prevent juvenile violence. By implementing new programs in rougher neighborhoods and using community oriented policing, to identify the crucial components of these neighborhoods we can then collaborate between police and mental heath professionals to attempt to see a change in our violent youth. When we recognize the effects of these new developments of controlling violence and with the appropriate intervention programs, such as identifying children involved in violent activities earlier, we will become more effective in solving life skill problems for children, parents, and the schools (American Family Physician).
When looking at referrals from schools and the collaboration of the police, we can raise awareness in the home. This will increase the possibility of helping children stay on track in school and at play. By developing a family prevention plan and reducing the risk of violence in the home, we can substantially reduce the problem of violence. By supporting positive social and emotional developments and preventing the risk of later violence we can overcome the violence epidemic in the United States.
Rojek, Dean G., Jensen Gary F. 1996. “Exploring Delinquency Causes and Control.” University of Georgia. University Vanderbilt. Roxbury Publishing Company. Pg. 67, 68.
White, Susan O. “Handbook of Youth and Justice.” Kluwer Academic /Plenum Publishers. New York, Boston Dordrecht ,London, Moscow, University of New Hampshire. Pg. 183, 186, 191.
American Family Physician. 2/15/2004. Vol. 6 Issue 4 p. 997 ,pl.
uid&db=aph&an=14073987. Academic Search Premier.
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