Psychology Of Adolescent Addiction Essay

2254 words - 9 pages

Introduction/ Background
There are various forms of addictions that teenagers and adolescents indulge in. Various researchers have devices concepts, theoretical frameworks and models to try to identify the cause of addiction among young people. For instance, in a longitudinal study by Hansell and White (1991) & Shedler and Block (1990), results showed no correlation between “drug addiction and adolescents trying to cope with pre-existing psychological distress” (p. 288). On the contrary, drug addiction correlated to physical and psychological impairments over time (Hansell & White, 1991).
Prevalence of Addiction
Adolescence is a stage in life that is marred by physical and hormonal changes that influence a person’s field of decision-making. During this time, adolescents are enticed to experiment on drugs and other dangerous habits. Research has shown that substance abuse among the youth leads to troubled interpersonal relationships, increased vehicle accidents, physical dependence, unprotected sex, increased hostility, and increased suicidal ideation (Hansell & White, 1991; Newcomb, Scheier & Bentler, 1993; North, 2012).
At the inception of drug and substance abuse, adolescents take the habit for experimental purposes (O’Connor, 1997). In most cases, these experimentations are designed to make adolescents fit into different peers groups.
Recent research indicates that family system plays a vital role in the direction that an adolescent takes in as far as substance abuse is concerned (North, 2012; Gunnarsson, 2012). Research has shown that adolescents from single-parents tend to have a higher propensity to engage in substance abuse and other delinquent behavior unlike children in proper family setting with both parents present (Gunnarsson, 2012). North notes that resource deprivation is the leading cause for indulgence in substance abuse among single-parent family.
A national survey has shown that 63.2% of high school seniors have indulged in drinking alcohol, while another 41.7% used marijuana (North, 2012). Adolescents that smoked cigarettes, marijuana, or drink alcohol received wide accolades among peers and this made them famous (North, 2012). Research has also shown that adolescents who were reported to be both shy and aggressive in first grade had a higher susceptibility to indulge in drug abuse as adults (North, 2012).
Additionally, adolescents that come from high-income families tend to engage in substance abuse, which leads to addiction (North, 2012). The lifestyle these adolescents are involved in tends to entice them to engage in hard drugs that are addictive (North, 2012).
Past Attempts to Deal with the Problem
Political Approach
The challenge of drug addiction is one that has and continues to elicit heated debate on the best approach to use to curb the menace (van Solinge, 2004). In terms of political approach, various mechanisms have been employed to minimize drug and substance abuse.
First, the emergence of United Nations...

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