Our youth are the most creative, energetic, motivated, expressive people within our society, but that presents challenging problems. The fact that they often bored and feel misunderstood plays a big role in how they make choices in life, yet they have interests, passions, and inspirations and yearn for an environment and facilities in which they can express themselves while releasing their excessive energy. In situations where these facilities are limited or unavailable, our youth are left to find their own ways to vent their frustrations, usually through behaviours that challenge our communities and society like the misuse of alcohol and illicit drugs. They are heavily influenced by their peers, peer group and pressure to experiment. The way media glamorises and depicts issues strongly influences the way our youth embrace these challenges, for good as well as bad. This essay will define ‘’youth work’’ and focus on how youth work can help young people with issues relating to drug addiction.
In order to understand the relationship that youth work can have on teens with drug addiction, we first must define ‘’youth work’’. Youth work is "a planned programme of education designed for the purpose of aiding and enhancing the personal and social development of young person’s through their voluntary participation, and which is complementary to their formal, academic or vocational education and training; and provided primarily by voluntary youth work organisations." (The Youth Work Act, 2001). In this definition we can see that youth work is an extension to education and a plan of action that supports young people within a non-formal and informal educational system which operates in society, meeting these youth where they are at. Over the years youth work in Ireland has become more recognized for the work it does with and for young people.
As youth work plays a vital role in the life of a teenager it can have an influence on their potential drug addiction. Young people take drugs for a lot of different reasons. One of the reasons young people can end up using drugs is that it helps numb pain that they may be feeling. Abuse, rejection, peer pressure, and neglect are some of the pains that a teenager may be facing. Teenagers may not know how to express their feelings or have suppressed them, so turning to drugs is found to offer the opportunity of escape from these painful realties (Alexander, 2001). There could be a lot of problems from their peers or at home which leaves them with no one to talk too or trust. Some of these issues then leave them unmotivated, withdrawn or rebellious, which can lead to crime that will feed their habit and destroy their family. Detached youth work can reach teens on the street that might never come in to a youth club and help those with drug addiction and potentially get them into a drug rehabilitation centre. In some cases it could also lead to a referral with organizations like ‘’The Ana...