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Chemical Abuse By Children And Adolescents

1035 words - 4 pages

Adolescence is the period expanding from the onset of puberty to young adulthood. It signals the end of childhood and brings on developmental changes throughout the mind and body. (Psychology, 7th edition Lester A. Lefton, p369) It is this time in life when people start making decisions about life friends, finding ones self, and dealing with the chemical changes in their bodies, and the ever changing world. An ever increasing number of these adolescents unfortunately, turn to drugs and or alcohol to help ease the turmoil and stress brought on largely by raging hormones. According to our class text (Concepts of Chemical Dependency), and (Psychology 7th ed.), reports and studies by (SAMHSA -Substance Abuse Mental Health Services of America, web site.) it is this stage of life when a person might experiment with mood altering substances.In every culture around the world adolescents is a time of change, "the coming of age." It is the time when children start to mature, experience puberty, and start making decisions that lead them into young adulthood. These decisions are motivated by family, culture, demographics, and peers. This is an awkward stage of change and most go through it with little or no problems, while others experience depression, anxiety, and uncertainty. Studies have shown that adolescents start experimenting with substances reserved for adults, such as alcohol and tobacco on the average age of twelve. (Class text) other studies by Samsha, show that adolescents that smoke cigarettes daily were more likely to become illicit drug users. In a report by the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA, December 28, 2001) showed that: in 2000, approximately 52% of youths aged 12 to 17 who were daily cigarette smokers, and 66%of youths who were heavy drinkers, were also in the past month users of illicit drugs.: Youths who were daily cigarette smokers or heavy drinkers were more likely to use illicit drugs than either daily smokers or heavy drinkers from older age groups, and youths who were past month users of both cigarettes and alcohol were more than twice as likely to have used illicit drugs as youths that used only cigarettes or only alcohol.Family, peers, and demographics play an important role on the decisions that adolescents make, as they try to be accepted in their quest to find their niche is this journey to adulthood. Psychologists believe that the problems of adolescents must be considered in a cultural context. In the United States it is not unusual to hear the adolescent say "no-one understands me"while in some other areas of the world the emphasis is not on self expression, but on learning specific skills. (Psychology p370) in the United States there are many cultural differences that affect the adolescent as well. In a study by (NSDUH 2001) they found that 52% Caucasian, 49% Hispanic and 47% African American teens reported using some illicit drug in the past month. In 2002, almost three million youths aged 12 to 17 used...

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