Our youth are the most creative, energetic, motivated, expressive people within our society, but that presents challenging problems. The fact that they often bored and feel misunderstood plays a big role in how they make choices in life, yet they have interests, passions, and inspirations and yearn for an environment and facilities in which they can express themselves while releasing their excessive energy. In situations where these facilities are limited or unavailable, our youth are left to find their own ways to vent their frustrations, usually through behaviours that challenge our communities and society like the misuse of alcohol and illicit drugs. They are heavily influenced by their peers, peer group and pressure to experiment. The way media glamorises and depicts issues strongly influences the way our youth embrace these challenges, for good as well as bad. This essay will define ‘’youth work’’ and focus on how youth work can help young people with issues relating to drug addiction.
In order to understand the relationship that youth work can have on teens with drug addiction, we first must define ‘’youth work’’. Youth work is "a planned programme of education designed for the purpose of aiding and enhancing the personal and social development of young person’s through their voluntary participation, and which is complementary to their formal, academic or vocational education and training; and provided primarily by voluntary youth work organisations." (The Youth Work Act, 2001). In this definition we can see that youth work is an extension to education and a plan of action that supports young people within a non-formal and informal educational system which operates in society, meeting these youth...
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...youth work and youth provision services are vital in helping deal with this growing problem – drug misuse by our youth.
Alexander, B., (2001) The Roots of Addiction in Free market Society,Vancouver, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
EMCDDA (2010). The State of The Drugs Problem in Europe. www.emcdda.europa.eu/.../att_120104_EN_EMCDDA_AR2010_EN.pdf [accessed 03.01.11]
Long, J., Jackson, T., Kidd, M., Kelleher, T., Sinclair, H. (2004a). Treatment Demand for Problem Alcohol Use in the South Eastern and Southern Health Board Areas, 2000 to 2002. Occasional Paper 10. Dublin: Health Research Board
Van Hout, M.C. (2009). ‘’Letter to the Editor’’. Journal of Alcohol & Drug Education 53 (1): 7–www.drugsandalcohol.ie/12266 [ accessed 03.12.10]
The Youth Work Act (2001). www.irishstatutebook.ie/2001/en/act/pub/0042. [accessed 04.02.11)
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