Adolescent Drug Usage Essay

2196 words - 9 pages


Introduction
Drug use among high school students is not something that has just come about with the legalization of marijuana or with the endless legal supply of amphetamines prescribed to anyone who claims to be unable to focus. Although drug use has become somewhat normalized in our society- whether it is one experimental usage, recreational drug usage, or habitually smoking marijuana- it does not mean that the risk of normal drug usage can quickly slip into substance abuse or even addiction.
Anyone who chooses to use drugs is putting themselves in some sort of risk, including overdose and death, is there some gene or trait that may cause certain people to be more likely to abuse or become addicted to drugs than others? This paper seeks to explore the correlation between levels of self-esteem in high school females and drug usage. More specifically, it seeks to learn what the majority of a specific high school’s students consider to be normal drug usage as the control variable. After obtaining the control variable, females from each grade level of that same high school shall be issued a set of two surveys- one used to measure self-esteem level and one regarding drug usage which is identical to the one used to establish the control. These surveys will be pre-marked with matching identification numbers so that they will be traceable to one another while still maintaining the subject’s anonymity.
Literature Review
Drug Use in Young Men and Women ages 12-19
Drug use among adolescents and young adults has become quite widespread during the past 25 years, with many characterizing the increases as of epidemic proportions. There has been endless research devoted to understanding why drug use often starts during the teenage years. There have been some certain factors noted as having a possible correlation to drug usage including: parental drug use, use among friends or peers, poor performance in school, poor family life, having a low sense of social responsibility and a lack in religion can all. On the other hand, there are also those adolescents who try drugs just to experience the high and have no real factors that led them to be more likely to try drugs. (Newcomb, PhD, Maddahian, PhD, & Bentler, PhD, 1986) The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is quoted by (Venturelli, 2000) as reporting “between 1996 and 1997, current illicit drug use increased significantly for youth age 12 to 13, rising from 2.2 to 3.8 percent” (pg. 73) It is also reported that in 1998, the highest rates of drug use were found among people ages 16 to 17 at 19.2%, followed by 18 to 20 year olds at 17.3%.
A study regarding psychiatric disorders and depression in relation to drug and alcohol abuse was performed using student participants, ages 16 to 19 years old, with the majority of 94 percent being aged 18 to 19 years old. These students were questioned to determine the presence or absence of psychiatric disorders, in particular major depressive disorder...

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