Adolescents and Addiction
Illegal Drug Use
Adolescent years can be considered one of the toughest time periods of development in a person’s life. It can be marked with the three p’s: peer pressure, pimples, and unfortunately pushers. Of all the things that an adolescent can experience, one of the most detrimental, to what should otherwise be the healthiest time of life, is the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol (Feldman, 2014). Illegal drug use among adolescents seems to be commonplace. It was reported that one out of 15 high school seniors smoked marijuana chronically, with this particular drug being at a thirty-year all time high (Feldman, 2014). It has been said that marijuana is the gate way drug to all other illicit drug use.
Several reasons are given for the use of illicit drugs. Youth often cite the need to get away from the pressures of life, the pleasurable experience, or just the sheer excitement of doing an illegal activity as reasons why the participate in this type of activity (Feldman, 2014). Another excuse given for using illegal drugs is to increase academic performance. Although I think it was an error with the omission of the word “school”, strangely enough, Feldman (2014) stated, “ A growing number of high students are using drugs such as Adderall”, to increase focus and enable students to study for long periods of time (pp.371-372). Effects of drug abuse
One of the dangers of doing drugs is that it can become habit forming or addictive. When a person becomes addicted to drugs, he or she has to have the drug in order to function. This is a biological addiction, where an actual change in the nervous system has occurred (Feldman, 2014). At this point, the person may not want to continue drug use, but due to the physiological and psychological changes caused by the drugs, a chemical dependency occurs. “People grow to depend on drugs to cope with everyday stress of life” (Feldman, 2014). Alcohol Abuse...
References: Feldman, R.S. (2014). Development across the life span. Upper Saddles River, NJ: Pearson.
Roehlkepartain, E.C., King, P.E., Wagener, L., Benson, P.L. (2006). The handbook of spiritual development in childhood and adolescence. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
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