Preventing Addiction Essay

1598 words - 6 pages

Addiction, addict, addicted, and addicting, are all words that are socially frowned upon. Yet adolescent addiction is on the rise, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, prescription drug use in particular is on the rise. On the other hand, use of cigarette smoking, alcohol use, and hallucinogens have decreased, but marijuana use has remained the same. Most addiction starts at the adolescent age when teens are trying to find themselves, and find relief from the social problems they encounter (Parvizy 2005). Researchers have looked into the different factors that can increase the risk of an adolescent becoming addicted to some form of drug or alcohol.
In 2005, Parvizy did a qualitative study on the how adolescents perceived addiction. The study included 41 adolescents ranging from ages 14-19. The study was completely anonymous, and if the students wanted to quit at any time they could, they could also ask for the tapes that the researchers had used to record the responses. Interviews were only conducted between the student and the interviewer, that way to maintain confidentiality. The interviews were conducted at the student’s place of choice. Interviewers wanted to make the interview as comfortable as possible so that the students would not hesitate to truthfully answer questions (Parvizy 2005).
Demographics were taken on each student and an interview guide containing a set of questions were used in data collection. Each interview lasted anywhere between thirty minutes and three hours across one to three sessions. After the interviews, the tapes were reviewed in depth and data was collected and separated into categories based on frequent themes throughout the interviews. Reviewing the tapes lead the researchers to create five themes for the causes of addiction. These five themes were: causes of addiction, increase in addiction rate, unhealthy friendships and communication, relationship between health and addiction, and family. In these themes there were also subthemes. According to the researchers the subthemes of cause of addiction were being free and relaxed, gaining a sense of power and authority, lure of alcohol because it is forbidden and wishing to break the rules, curiosity and wishing to experience new sensations. Subthemes of increases in addiction rates are decrease in addiction onset age, availability of drugs and obtaining them easily, and rapid change from the use of inhalants to injecting drugs. Unhealthy friendships and communication subthemes include role of friendship in addiction, and increased use of drugs by adolescents in social places. Relationships between health and addiction included the two subthemes, smoking as the main health barrier and beginning of addiction, and religious beliefs, exercise, self-esteem, and knowledge are the main protective factors from addiction. The subthemes of family were the parents as role models, parental indifference, and hidden drug abuse...

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