Youth with Substance Abuse by: MJAC

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Information about Youth with Substance Abuse by: MJAC

Published on March 18, 2014

Author: MiracleJAC



Substance Abuse amongst grade levels in the secondary education level is increasing.


Content of Discussion:  Youth Brain & Addiction.  Why is the youth becoming addicted?  Home Life & Environment  Is there a Genetic Role?  Advertisement & Media Influence  Celebrities & Substance Abuse

Introduction:  Drug addiction is a problem for teenagers as well as adults due to a variety of reasons.  Peer pressure, growing up in a household where one or both parents take drugs or having a genetic tendency towards addiction.  Films, television and the media are additional factors.

Introduction: cont..  Drug induced death now outnumbers suicide, injury by fire arms, and homicide  Emergency room visits from prescription from overdoses doubled from 2005-2012  Overdose deaths from painkillers have risen from less than 2, 901 in 1999 to 11, 499 in 2007  By 2007, more teenagers used opioid analgesics recreationally than used marijuana (Center for Disease Control)

Substance Abuse can lead to:  Problems at school  Cause or aggravate physical and mental health related issues  Promote poor peer relationships  Motor-Vehicle accidents  Place stress on the family

Youth Brain & Addiction:  Issue: the youth is more prone to drug addiction due to their brains is still developing. (decision-making development)  The desire for pleasure (buzz) overrides the consideration of harm and effect on others lives.  Ex: Parents and other members of their family or friends

Youth Addictions:  Alcohol  Nicotine  Cannabis  Caffeine/Energy Drinks (Red Bull)  Solvents  Ecstasy  Heroin

Most Highly Abused Substance amongst Youth in the U.S.:  Alcohol  Youth engage in binge drinking  A pattern of drinking that elevates the blood alcohol concentration to 0.08 percent or above, more than adults do. (  This can lead to risky and potentially harmful behaviors mixed with additional substance abuse.

Why is the youth becoming addicted?:  Young people are attracted to:  Caffeine  Hard Drugs  Alcohol  Smoking  Most common reason is Peer Pressure

Why is the youth becoming addicted?: cont..  Peer Pressure  Young people are obsessed with being part of the group and trying to “fit in”.  Ex:Wearing the same clothes, speaking the same language and doing the same things.  If the group they wish to be part of does drugs then it is very difficult not to do the same.

Why is the youth becoming addicted?: cont..  Another reason is due to being part of a “dare” or trying to show their maturity.  The teenage years is a difficult time in that a young person is no longer a child but is not quite an adult and is trying t assert their individualism and identity at the time.

Why is the youth becoming addicted?: cont..  Friendships and being part of a group are immensely important at this time.  A young person would rather adapt their behavior to that of the group rather than risk rejection.

Why is the youth becoming addicted?: cont..  Additionally, smoking, drinking alcohol or taking drugs are seen as acts of rebellion.  Young people know that these potentially harmful substances are bad for them which make them even more attractive.  The thought of doing something that is both risky and frowned upon by adults only adds to the excitement.

Why is the youth becoming addicted?: cont..  Young people don’t believe that it will lead to an addiction or even damage their health in the long run.  Youth thinks: “One is immortal while young”  Realistic:Taking an illicit substance when young can result in an addiction that will stay with them into adulthood.

Home Life & Environment:  If a young person is brought up in a household where drugs are discussed freely, are available or are seen as part of everyday life then they re at risk of developing an addiction. (  If a young person is in a home where cigarettes, alcohol or drugs are not viewed as anything out of the ordinary, then it is logical that they will see them in the same way.

Home Life & Environment: cont..  This is not to say that every young person who grows up in a substance abuse environment will become a drug addict.  However, there is a greater risk of this happening than for someone from a stable background. (  Drug addiction is no respecter of social class, background, income level, location upbringing.

Is there a Genetic Role?:  There have been studies undertaken into whether a person can have inherited a gene for addiction.  There may not be an actual gene but there are aspects of a person’s genetic makeup which make them more vulnerable to drug addiction.

Is there a Genetic Role?: cont..  People do assume that if several members of a family have an addiction, such as drugs then they have inherited a gene for this addiction which will be passed down to their children.  This is INCORRECT!!!  It’s a combination of factors: exposure to addictive behavior, environment, lifestyle and so on.

Is there a Genetic Role?: cont.. Ex: if a young person is poor, lives in a deprived area, are friendly with people who smoke, drink or use drugs and is psychologically vulnerable, this can increase the chance of addiction. Needless to say, it may not be due to any genetic tendencies but more a case of socialization in that the young person has grown up with smoking, drinking or drug use in their family as acceptable behavior.

Advertisement & Media Influence:  Young people are very susceptible to the power of advertising and a target consumer group by various companies who understand the attraction to this age group.  Both film and television present lifestyles which often include these substances in a desirable approach.

Advertisement & Media Influence: cont..  Fashion and music magazines and the internet focus on celebrities lifestyles which also include substance abuse.  Very impressionable to the youth.  Many young people aspire to the celebrity lifestyle.  Drinking, Smoking and/or Hard Drugs

Celebrities & Substance Abuse:  Numerous celebrities of the past half century have been plagued with substance abuse problems that resulted disastrous.  The common denominator in celebrity deaths is Substance Abuse.  Due to:  Depression, Insomnia, Personality Changes, Impaired Judgment & Poor Relationships

Celebrities & Substance Abuse: cont..  Ozzy Osborne- led to him being fired from Black Sabbath.  Snoop Dog- busted a few times for marijuana possession  AmyWinehouse- died of an alcohol addiction  Britney Spears- relapsed and shaved her head  Marilyn Monroe- died from an overdose  Whitney Houston- died result from addiction  Michael Jackson- died from prescription drugs  Elvis Presley- died, autopsy revealed 14 drugs found in system.

Conclusion:  Prevention: talking to young people about the risks of drug addiction is important as this will hopefully prevent addiction happening.  Involve students in prevention/education efforts  Engage Parents more effectively  Encourage substance-free events  Provide helpful resource material

Conclusion  Treatment: if beyond the prevention, it is a case of treating the addiction and providing help along with support throughout the process.  Treatment for an addiction is a long and time consuming process that can be difficult for both the addict and people around them.

Drug/Alcohol Abuse Rehab Centers 1-800-943-0566 Miracle-Josette Creighton

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