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Adolescent Substance Use Trends Essay

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Adolescent Substance Use Trends
Patterns and trends of substance use among adolescents fluctuates from generation to generation. There are many factors related to the increased risk for substance experimentation. For example, generational substance use, poor parental monitoring, and low academic performance contribute to elevated risk for substance use (Allison, et al., 1999). Substances that have remained on the forefront for adolescent use and abuse include alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana (Hussey, Drinkard, Flannery).
Summary of Research
Adolescent substance use has many facets including illicit drug use and alcohol and tobacco use. The most common illicit drug used by adolescents is marijuana (Murphey, Barry, Vaughn, Guzman & Terzian, 2013). Marijuana use is steadily increasing among adolescents while methamphetamines are on the decline among youth (Johnston, O'Malley, Bachman & Schulenberg, 2006). Substance use among adolescents increases significantly if substance use is exhibited in the home (Allison, et al., 1999). On the contrary, if members of the household do not use, adolescents are less likely to experiment with cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs (Allison, et al., 1999).
Additionally, research consistently confirms the connection between youth substance use and familial substance use (Walden, Iacono & McGue, 2007). For example, substance use and abuse often intertwined in families. Furthermore, adolescents look to their parents as important role models for alcohol use and the use of illicit drugs other than marijuana (Allison, et al., 1999). Parents set an example for their impressionable adolescent (Murphey, et al., 2013). Youth who have a close non-authoritarian relationship with their parents are less ...


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Johnston, L. D., O'Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2006). Monitoring the future: National results on adolescent drug use. overview of key findings, 2005. National Institute on Drug Abuse, 06-5882.
Murphey, D., Barry, M., Vaughn, B., Guzman, L., & Terzian, M. (2013). Adolescent health highlight: Use of illicit drugs. Child Trends, 2013-11.
Steinberg, L. (2005). Cognitive and affective development in adolescence. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9, 69-74.
Tarter, R. E. (2002). Etiology of adolescent substance abuse:a developmental perspective. The American Journal on Addictions, 11, 171-191.
Walden, B., Iacono, W. G., & McGue, M. (2007). Trajectories of change in adolescent substance use and symptomatology: Impact of paternal and maternal substance use disorders. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 21, 35-43. doi:10.1037/0893-164X.21.1.35



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