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Peer Pressure

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Whose Fault Is It?

Adolescents abuse illegal drugs for several reasons. If a teen is abusing drugs, your family is no different from many other families today. The question some may ask themselves is, “Why does a child do drugs?” This research paper will explain some of the reasons adolescents abuse drugs. Parents cannot blame themselves for all of a teen’s actions. Two major reasons for adolescents abusing illegal drugs are peer pressure and depression. These concepts will be expanded upon in detail in this paper.

     Peer pressure is one of the major reasons that teens abuse illegal drugs. Peer pressure is when another person in this age group persuades someone else to do something they don’t want to do. (Williams, Rob) This happens often among friends. In Alcohol, Stepney discuses children mimicking or idealizing friends, family, or T.V. Most people use peer pressure every day. A typical phrase is when someone says, “It will be fun, trust me.” This could be harmless pressure to try something like a new movie, or a new brand of cookies. It could also be pressure to abuse illegal drugs. Peer pressure is often used in harmful ways. (Doe, John) Teens at a party want to fit in. Many find it is very hard to say no when their peers are doing drugs. It may seem easy to say no, but when a teen feels pressured and wants to fit in, most teens try the drugs in the end. Another form of peer pressure is reverse psychology. This is making it look good for you although it’s bad. If someone changes sides all of a sudden, a teen may change to the other side as well thinking it was their own idea. Greed, according to an electronic source, is another reason for drug abuse among teens, as they get others hooked and sell to them to pay for their own habit. (Guillermo D. Jalil) Peer pressure is probably the main reason most teens abuse illegal drugs.

     During puberty, many teens suffer with depression. Depression is when a teen is not happy with themselves for real or imagined reasons. They may be suffering from low self-esteem or torment by others, leading to not being happy with their appearance or other physical features. Many teens go through periods of moodiness, inner turmoil, and rebellion (Gilbert, Sara). Depression may also occur in a teen due to family problems. A teen may think a divorce is coming due to parental behavior but the parents may not be thinking that. In How to Live With a Single Parent, Sara Gilbert says, “It could be worse (29).” This refers to a parent talking about a teen’s father’s death. Family problems are stressful and this stress can lead to depression, thoughts of suicide, and the abuse of illegal drugs.

     Stress is a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension (Williams, Rob). When adolescents go through a lot of stress they just want the problems to go away. Some abuse mind-expanding drugs, which make them forget for the time being. According to “Getting High in Junior High”, youth today are rapidly changing (Doe, John). Many teens do not seem to be able to handle the changes. When they become sober again, they may become depressed. They still have the worries and emotional problems they used to.

     Loneliness is a feeling many teens go through. Adolescents go through this because during their teen years they become more independent. This causes them to change their lifestyle. Changing lifestyles means they may stay in or out of the house more. They may not hang out with friends as often (Gilbert, Sara). Teens sometimes abuse drugs to pass their time because they are lonely. They do this because it makes them feel good for a short time. Nody Labi writes in “Amiss Among the Amish” for Time magazine, of an Amish college student saying, "The ‘thrills’ are not really satisfying. The stability in the Amish community looks more worthwhile” (Labi, Nodi). This Amish college student realized the stability of her community was more satisfying than the thrills of abusing illegal drugs.

     In this research paper, a clearer understanding of the reasons adolescents abuse illegal drugs has been clarified. It is probably not a parent’s fault that their teen is abusing drugs. Peer pressure, depression, stress, and family problems are the major reasons a teen may be abusing drugs.

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