Juvenile Delinquency And “Legal Medications”
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Juvenile Delinquency is becoming more and more prevalent in American culture, especially the way that our societys perception is changing. Juveniles are being misdiagnosed at a higher rate than ever before with Mental Health disorders. Legal medications are being prescribed to deal with a juveniles behavior. Parents are relinquishing control of their childs behavior to the doctors. Juveniles are abusing the medications, which causes further delinquency.
According to Juvenile Delinquency: the Core, juvenile delinquency is defined as, “the participation in illegal behavior by a minor who falls under a statutory age limit” (416). Dictionary.com defines juvenile delinquency as, “behavior of a child or youth that is so marked by violation of law, persistent mischievousness, antisocial behavior, disobedience, or intractability as to thwart correction by parents and to constitute a matter for action by the juvenile courts.” There is always a struggle with juveniles, especially with delinquent juveniles. All youth act as if they are invincible and they think that nothing can hurt them. Delinquent juveniles perceive themselves as almighty and think that they are the biggest and most bad persons on the earth. They feel that they can do what they want, when they want and how they want. The worst part of it all is that society is letting it happen.
Society has changed in such a way that parents have become more lenient with control of their childrens behavior. Ever since 1946, when Dr. Benjamin Spock introduced his book, Baby and Child Care, parents have spared the rod and spoiled the child. In the 1940s it was unheard of for a child to speak out if turn or to talk back to their parents. In todays time, it is unheard of for a child to speak only if spoken to, or to do as they are told, when they are told. Society has allowed the youth to be disrespectful and now looks at it as a normal thing of today. According to Stein, “There is a 300 percent increase since the 1970s in teen suicides, drug use, and delinquency” (Stein, 1). This correlates to ten percent every year from 1970 until 2000.
This lack of caring in the society has made it easier for youth to be delinquent. It is not solely the society that should be held liable for the youth; but mainly the parents. Parents in todays world are most likely young, single-parented and living within certain means (poverty). There was a 12.7 increase in poverty last year, which is the fourth straight increase for the nation (MSNBC, AP). Parents have a responsibility to take care of their children and should be held to their responsibilities. There are more and more parents that are not involved in their childs life due to the above circumstances. Another reason for parents not being involved in their childs life may be due to the fact that the parents do not have (quality) time to spend with them. As parents do not spend time with their child(ren), then it give the youth more time to get into trouble. There is the lack of supervision and care that are missing. While parents are away, juveniles can find ways be devious.
While the parents do not know how to handle their child they are at a loss. It is too late to try and raise a child when (s)he is nine years old. Parents allow their child(ren) to go free and then try to control them, when it is already too late. Since the nation is advancing rapidly in terms of technology, there are all different kinds of medications that are coming out. Given that parents cannot control their children, they think that there is something wrong with them. They may assume that they have Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder, are depressed, or are bipolar. The symptoms or signs of these four disorders are represented in the charts below.
Seeing that parents feel that they can no longer control their children, they are looking to licensed doctors for answers. Juveniles are, in return, being misdiagnosed for mental health disorders at an alarming rate, as parents relinquish their control of their childrens behaviors to the doctors as a last resort. Doctors are taught to look for certain symptoms manifested in mental disorders, in which they write a prescription to fit the perceived disorder. Doctors medicate people based on what they can see and what the parents tell them. A parent can think that their child is too hyperactive and does not have a long attention span, relay that information to the doctor and the doctor can prescribe the child medication to help alleviate the problems. A child may not even have a disorder, as they are just reacting to their environment. A child can also deceive their parents or doctors into thinking that they do have a disorder just to the medication that will be prescribed. There are several medications that a doctor can prescribe for the perceived disorders. The charts below show some of the medications available for AD(H)D, depression, and bipolar disorders.
When prescribed any medication, there are always side effects that go along with it. Such side effects can be . Once the juvenile is prescribed a medication, then they become addicted to the drug. It is hard to get someone weaned off of a medication, especially if they are hooked on the way that it makes them feel. While youth are becoming addicted to legalized medications, they are becoming more delinquent the longer that they are on the medication.
Juveniles are delinquent in many different ways. They can deceive their parents and the doctors so that they can obtain the legalized medications, if there is no real disorder that they have. If they are prescribed a medication and their prescription runs out, then they must find other ways to get the medications. A common thing among the youth is to go to a party and “fish bowl” medications. Fish bowling is where there are different people that bring different pills to a party and all of the pills are dumped into a large bowl. To get high, a person reaches in gets any kind of pills that they want. To make it more clear, think of a Halloween bucket full of candy, only the candies are pills. This can cause major problems because there may be pills that are not supposed to be mixed together that are consumed by the youth. There are more and more youth that are buying and selling prescription medications to other peers. A prescription is made for only one person, and not intended for another person to