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Drugs abuse is serious problem in the United States, especially among teenagers. According to National Drug Intelligence Center (2003) 7.5 million American adolescents aged 12 to 17 used drugs at least once during their lifetime. Teens start to experiment with drugs from a young age and do not think about drugs’ negative consequences. Butler (2010) claims that drug addiction will lead to problems at university or school and loss of alertness, which can cause to injury. Also it will affect mood, change system of values and lead to depression. As a result, teenagers who use drugs have a risk for suicide. Nowadays, they abuse both legal and illegal drugs. Also drug accessibility is one of the causes of adolescent abuse. The majority of teenagers aged 12-17 get it easily from friends or relatives. (Office of National Drug Control Policy 2007). Moreover there are other possible factors, such as pressure from friends, low self-appraisal, stress, relationships with parents. This essay will look at drug abusing problem among teenagers in the United States and analyse in detail possible reasons and solutions for drug addiction.
Teenagers abuse a variety of drugs. Any of them both legal and illegal can have immediate or long term health consequences. As reported by NIDA in 2003 year 40.2 percent of high school students had used marijuana. Majuana is the illegal narcotic. Youths who used it before 17-years-olds indicated smaller brain and they are smaller in height and weight than teens who used marijuana after age 17. In addition, marijuana adversely affect on memory, distorts the perception of sound, time, touch for short term. American teens use inhalant as well. Adolescent find it in spray paint, glue and shoe polish. TeenDrugAbuse.us states, that regular use of inhalants can result in heart disease, liver and kidney damages. Also the most common drugs among youth in United States are ecstasy, cocaine, crack, speed and heroin. Legal drugs such as prescribed medications and alcohol is popular today. Moreover, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy in 2005 year 2.1 million teenagers abused prescription drugs and these drugs are the most common among 12-13-years-olds. Also American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry claim that drug use is increased risk poor judgment which may lead to accidents, violence, suicide and unplanned, unsafe sex, which may cause HIV.
Factors That Influence Teenagers to Drug Abuse
Firstly, home and family are major factor.
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Also friends exert enormous influence on actions and choices during teenage years. Melton (2010) believes, that when a adolescent’s peer group presents pressures of experimenting with drugs, individuals often face with a choice: be a part of this group or not, and usually group of teenagers prevail. Moreover, it is believed, that drug using is measure of “cool” and increasing authority with peers. Furthermore, teenagers want to improve their athletic or cognitive performance by addiction various drugs. (National Drug Intelligence Center 2010)
Next factors are stress and depressions. According to SunHawk Adolescent Recovery Center (n.d) parents underestimate the amount of stress that their child is experiencing. American teens turn to drugs to forget about problems, to be away from sadness and fear. For example, cocaine addiction is followed by increasing of energy, feelings the power and self-confidence and heroin is followed by feelings of relaxation and satisfaction (NIDA 2010). Also Melton (2010) argue, that aggressive and uncontrollable behavior are may prompt to drug abuse, while this drugs is habit-forming. Moreover, initial experiment turn to continued drug abuse. However, many times people develop depression because of substance use (Bolyn 2010)
Another common reason is curiosity. People aged 12-17 want to try new feelings (NIDA 2010). Also teens are trying to become independent and make decisions without parental care. Adolescent use drugs, because they want to try everything witch feelings will drugs lead to, while drug addiction will negative effect on health and social life. (SunHawk Adolescent Recovery Center n.d)
Adolescent with low self-esteem are in risk zone as well. Firstly, American teens start to use drugs, because want to experience feelings, which they do not feel in everyday life and to be more comfortable at parties or in social situations (Bolyn 2010) . Secondly, teenagers want to be accepted by school crowds and find just this way, so adolescents find drug abusing as key of all doors.
Drug availability promote to increasing drug addicts’ rate. “More than three in five (62% or 14.6 million) teens say prescription pain relievers are easy to get from parents’ medicine cabinets; half of teens (50% or 11.9 million) say they are easy to get through other people’s prescriptions; and more than half (52% or 12.3 million) say prescription pain relievers are “available everywhere.””( Office of National Drug Control Policy 2007) .
Where Pain Relievers Were Obtained for Most Recent Nonmedical Users
Aged 12-17 (Percentage) in 2006 Year (Office of National Drug Control Policy 2007)
This pie chart illustrate, that approximately half of adolescent, who use prescription drugs can get this drugs from friends and parents. Also drugs at home can lead to easy and accessible experiments. Then adolescent start to use drugs it is difficult to stop, while extended use develops physical and psychical dependences, so inaccessibility can prevent teens’ drug addiction.