“Risk Taking, Alcohol and Drug Use”
As if adolescence isn't already a difficult time in many peoples life, the movement into adulthood is also a difficult and confusing time. The onset of stress amongst people can sometimes drive them into experimenting with ways that help reduce the stress; drug use, high alcohol consumption and risk taking being a prime example. In Janet Belsky’s “Experiencing the Lifespan,” after doing some research, she ended up finding out that many young people in High School are indeed risk takers. The thrill of getting away with doing something bad and illegal and not getting caught with your friends, makes some teens feel invincible. Many believe that if they didn’t get caught the “last couple times” doing whatever they did, then why would they get caught doing it “this time?” It’s a repetitive process that unfortunately keeps on going until they actually get busted, and even after they do get busted, sometimes it still doesn't stop them.
Belsky’s research, along with research done by others that she found, showed some surprising statistics. Some of the research that she found was that most of the adolescent risk taking wasn't of “serious” drug use, it was the slight usage of alcohol and marijuana. Underage drinking is never a good thing and a survey in 2010 found that only a small amount of High School teens had admitted to binge drinking. The first problem arises here, and it’s something that many people believe and question. In terms of alcohol consumption, if you’re already binge drinking in High School, isn’t it more likely that it’s only going to worsen as you head off to college? Marijuana is an illegal drug in many states, but compared to many of the other drugs out there, it hardly compares to some of the “hard drugs” that many adults use. The second problem arises here. In terms of marijuana use, if you’re already smoking marijuana in High School, isn’t it more than likely just going to increase your tolerance and make you crave other more serious drugs to get your desired high? I will answer these beliefs/questions later on when I discuss the article on risk behaviors, high alcohol consumption and drug use.
With the slight alcohol and drug use Belsky did find, unfortunately it showed that there was a much bigger problem in adolescents. Belsky’s most shocking reveal was that was that 1 in 3 teens had been arrested by the age of 18. If teens are already risk taking for the thrill at such a young age, what’s going to happen when they hit college and the stakes get higher?
“Risk Behaviors and Drug Use: A Latent Class Analysis of Heavy Episodic Drinking in First-Year College Students,” an article by Emily Chiauzzi, Pronabesh DasMahapatra, and Ryan A. Black, does indeed show that early risk taking, drug use and alcohol consumption is most likely only going to worsen as you head off to your first year of college and beyond. As I stated before, adolescence is a difficult time for many, if not all, people. But, the...