Teens' Top Reasons For Taking Drugs

808 words - 3 pages

The relationship between teens and drugs has been around for decades; however, this is not what you would call positive. Substance abusing (which is using drugs or alcohol in ways than can cause physical harm) is often associated with crime. But why do youths take drugs?

Youth take drugs for the following reasons: social disorganization, peer pressure, family factors, emotional, or rational choice. Social disorganization deals with drug abuse to poverty and disorganized urban environment. Drug use by youth minority group members has been tied to factors such as racial prejudice, low-esteem, social status, and stress produced from environment. The National Youth Survey found that drug use tends to be higher among urban youths.

Peer pressure is the most well-known reason for teens to partake in substance abuse. Some may argue that teen drug abuse is highly correlated with the behavior of close friends especially when family supervision is weak. This relationship, in fact, is reciprocal: substance abusers seek out friends who engage in similar activities. Associating with drug abusers leads to increased levels of drug abuse.

Another explanation is that drug users have a poor family life. Studies show that majority of drug users have had an unhappy childhood which included harsh punishment and parental neglect females and Caucasians who were abused as children are more likely to have alcohol and drug arrests as adults. Youths who learn that dugs provide pleasurable sensations may be most likely to experiment with illegal substances; a habit may develop if the user experience anxiety and fear.

Other family factors associations with teen drug abuse include parental conflict over child-rearing, practices, failures, to set rules, and unrealistic demands followed by hard punishments. Low parental attachment, rejection, and excessive family conflict have all been linked to adolescent substance abuse.

Psychodynamic explanations of substance abuse suggest that drugs help youths control or express unconscious needs thus come in taking drugs for emotional reasons. They may use drugs as an escape from real or imagined feelings of inferiority. Substance abuse is one of the many problems that begin early in life and remain throughout the life course. Youth who abuse drugs lack commitment to religious values, disdain education, and spend most of their time in peer...

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