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Drug And Alcohol Use Among Adolescents

1253 words - 5 pages

Monday, November 23, 2009Jane Loevinger, a well known psychologist says that adolescents go through stages in their life to fully develop their ego; two of these stages are the conformist stage and the conscientious stage (1990 in Holloway 2000). During adolescence teens try to fit in and see where they belong in life (Loevinger 1990 in Holloway 2000). This can cause them to try things such as drugs and drinking alcohol. For example, Dr. Margaret Melrose did a study of young heavy cannabis users and the greatest proportion said they started using because their friends were already using (2005). Current research done on the topic of young drug use in Canada shows a steady rise in recent years from 1994 to 2000 in all age groups (Tjempkema 2004). This review of literature will examine how often adolescents use drugs, why they use, the psychological effects of using, the effects they may experience later in life and the social effects of using drugs and alcohol.How Often: According to Michael Tjempkema and his doctoral research paper that states 12.2% of 3 million Canadians aged 15 or older have used cannabis in the past year (2004). More research done in the Atlantic Provinces indicates that that 28% of teens have used cannabis and 2% have used cocaine in the past 12 months (Poulin 1999). Research done by Statistic Canada states that the age group 17-18 has been accused of drug related offences more than any other, about 1400 for every 100,000 per population (StatCan 2009). Trends in this area indicate that young students in high school and post-secondary education are using drugs and alcohol, some daily, some weekly and some not at all but they are being used and the reasons for the use of drugs and alcohol also vary.Why Teens Use: Teens use drugs for a variety of reasons according to a study done by Dr. Melrose teens use cannabis because it helps them relax and relieve stress (2007). In the same study Dr. Melrose identified that stress as one of the main reasons girls use drugs and alcohol (2005). Another study about teenage girls and why they use alcohol and drugs outlined the reasons for use as; to improve mood, increase confidence, reduce tension, cope with problems, enhance sex, or lose weight (CASA 2003 in Girls and Drugs 2006). Further research in this area suggests that anger management is another reason that teens use cannabis saying that it stops them from getting into other forms of trouble (Melrose 2007).Later Life: Adolescents who use drugs presently may not have any idea the effects their actions may have later in their life time. According to a study done on the use of the club drug ecstasy and its use on the college and university campuses, brain damage can be present 6-7 years later (Powell 2008). Some further research done in the effects of marijuana and its later life effects found that girls who used marijuana daily at the age of 14-15 were at a greater risk of being depressed at the age of 21 and later (Patton 2002 in Girls...

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