English 1301/ 10:50
Drug abuse shades problems on millions of American families in the United States, commonly attracting teenagers to get involved. Seventy eight percent of all drug users start as teenagers, which often don't see the link between their actions today and the consequences tomorrow. Some of the most regularly used illegal drugs in the United States are Amphetamine, Cocaine, LSD, Heroin, and Marijuana. Drug abuse doesn’t only include illegal drugs, many prescriptions and over the counter medication are used to get high by taking inappropriate doses. The rates of drug abuse are gradually reaching kids of younger ages, and high schools are reporting more drug related problems. According to Wozencraft, the average age of first drug use in the USA has decreased from eighteen in 2001, to fourteen years old in 2013 (3). Although teens consistently underestimate the gravity of drug use, the reasons to start, reasons they get hooked, and the consequences of drug abuse are critically influential on the teen’s life. Teenagers start to use drugs because of reasons such as false assumptions, peer pressure, and escape. Just about all teenagers meet someone that uses or have used drugs. They talk about their experiences with drugs leaving the negative effects concealed, and they exaggerate in describing the attracting feelings they get. The media also presents an image that encourages drug use, presenting it as a thrilling, and desired experience rather than a dangerous pleasure. According to Wozencraft Forty-two percent of teens agreed that movies and TV shows make drugs seem like an acceptable thing to do (4). Therefor many teenagers underestimate the gravity of drug use, which make them think that it is normal for them to try it out once or twice. Teenagers pressure each other onto using drugs in order to be accepted, especially in high schools where social life is very important for the adolescent. Alice didn’t want to go to the party where she first tries any drugs, but her insisting friend Beth convinces her that she will stay an outcast in school if she wouldn’t loosen up (Sparks, 25). The often rough teenage years can take an emotional toll on children, sometimes even causing depression. Therefor teenagers use drugs in order to get a temporary escape from their problems. According to Lilienfeld, if teens are unhappy and can't find a healthy outlet for their frustration or a trusted confidant, they may turn to chemicals for solace. The use of drugs causes changes in the user’s personality that increases his dependence on the drug. Continuous use of any kind of drug will lead into either Mental, or Physical addiction. According to Slezak, Physical addiction occurs when the body becomes so dependent on a substance, or drug that the cells cannot function without it (2). On the other hand, mental addiction is when the user needs to take it in order to maintain his mental and emotional state. Users get used to pushing their problems away, which makes them want to use drugs every time they face a problem that is hard to deal with. Furthermore, Wozencraft states that teenagers that use drugs to run away from problems develop a fragile ability to express their feelings (3). Teenage drug users usually have problems in making sober friends; the sober kids usually reject drug users. Other users feel like they have to be around people like them to feel normal, leaving them stuck in a drug infested atmosphere. Alice was very frustrated with not finding any new straight friends after her reputation got out, which made her meat other users who introduce her to more drugs (139). Drug abuse results in consequences on the teenager’s life, body, and mental state. Drugs are an expensive product that can easily run a teenager broke. With the addiction growing Shameful and dangerous ways to make money such as selling drugs, prostitution, and theft, start to surface Alice...
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