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Drugs and Youth
What are some concerns and effects of our youth being on drugs?
In this article I will take a positive constructive approach to ideas and skills in dealing with prevention.
Where do kids use alcohol and other drugs? Adolescents consistently report that the most common places for alcohol and drug usage are: with friends, at non chaperoned parties, and in cars. These same adolescents report that a common situation for consumption is after school when no adult is home, and on dates at school functions (Wilmes 21). However, marijuana is significantly used more at school due to the lack of impaired performance. Alcohol has a higher intoxication property making adolescents more impaired physically.
When young adolescents start this experimental use, they feel that alcohol and drugs are fun and they learn that every time they use, it makes them feel more outgoing. They lose their inhibitions and they become more curious and open to the idea of trying more dangerous drugs such as cocaine or heroin, which can be more addictive than marijuana and alcohol. Many young teenagers like to take risks. This leads to peer- pressure; they feel that life is not as much fun without the excitement of using alcohol and other drugs.(Bartlas 64)
I believe that addiction is a condition caused by the dependence on drugs and alcohol. Often the initial thing that starts juveniles using drugs is the desire to forget there feelings. Most addictions seem to develop on the strength and character of our basic drives. This makes it difficult for drug addicts to find long term recovery. Only a clear understanding of the compulsive nature of addiction can help us learn more about this disease so that treatment and prevention can become possible.
To prevent and reduce drug and alcohol problems among the youth we need to encourage school based education programs such as D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education). This program is based on a cooperative effort by the police department and the school districts. In this program, uniformed police officers teach a formal curriculum to fifth and sixth grade students. These officers help build self esteem so that the children develop ways to say “no” to drugs. An initial evaluation of the D.A.R.E. program suggests that children who participated had significantly lower rates of substance abuse (Bartollas 62). It is also important for adults to talk with their children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
By having an open mind and family discussions on a regular basis, we can teach our children that we care and that we want the best for them. This gives us hope that they will make the right decisions to say no to drugs. Let us be there for them when they need us the most. We can let them know about how unhealthy drugs and alcohol are and that they can ruin lives. By encouraging good attitudes toward not using drugs, we increase the chances of our children’s safety. A closer relationship with our children will help them have the strength to meet the challenges that they will face in the future.
Bartollas Clemens, Miller Stuart J. 2001. “Juvenile Justice in America.” Third edition. Prentice Hall. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458.
Bejerot Nils. 1972. “Addiction an Artificially Induced Drive.” Charles C. Thomas Publisher. Library of Congress. Catalog card number: 72-75906.
Rucker, Marian E. 1989. “Drugs, Society and Behavior.” 89/90. Annual Editions. The Dushkin Publishing Group Inc. Sluice Dock Guilford, Connecticut 06437.
Wilmes, David J. 1995. “Parenting for Prevention - How to Raise a Child to say no to Alcohol and other Drugs for Parents, Teachers and other Concerned Adults.” Revised Edition. Hazelden Information and Educational Services.
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