Causes of Adolescent Drug Abuse
Usman Bin Riaz
Miss Bernice Chauly
4th July 2012
Causes of adolescent drug abuse
Drug abuse refers to the non-medical use of drugs with the aim of producing an effect which alters the mind of the user. Many different types of drugs can be abused: not only legal drugs such as pain killers, sleeping pills and tranquilizers but also illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine and marijuana. Although drugs were initially developed for medical reasons such as to provide cure and comfort from a disease, there are a large number of people who use drugs for other reasons. Drug abuse is not something new but has existed in our societies for many years and people know about it through different sources of media such as the television, radio and the newspaper. A person may turn to drugs simply because he might enjoy the feeling of being relaxed and forget about the problem in his life. Such a person soon begins to neglect his responsibilities and becomes dependent on the drug. Millions of people around the world are using drugs on a daily basis. Studies have found the most drug use begins during adolescence, and can even start earlier (Rahim 19). Drug abuse can lead to many health risks as it drastically alters the life of a teenager and is mainly caused due to absent parenting, curiosity and peer pressure.
The first and the most common cause of drug abuse found in teenagers is due to absent parenting. Statistics show that 24 million children in America – one out three – live in homes without biological fathers. Due to the lack of parental supervision the childs upbringing is affected. While growing up he might not be able to differentiate between the good and bad things which surround him in the society. Parents are not able to guide and educate the teen who is being attracted to drugs. The less parental supervision the teen has, the more opportunity is there for him to try substances such as drugs. Due to the lack of receiving parents attention the teenager might also feel neglected and suffer emotionally. Drugs and alcohol often reduce the emotional and psychological pain and hence he might try them to forget his problems by taking drugs in order to make him feel relaxed. For example, a teenager named Louis started taking drugs because he was suffering from emotional pain. He says, “I can clearly remember my using [drugs] because of [emotional] pain, and because I didnt know where to go with the pain or what to do with it. . . . I think sticking that spike in my arm was a violent act, maybe it was an act of just basically anesthetizing myself,” (Firshein ) . Sometimes a teenager might not be able to find parental support which gives him the feeling of loneliness and low self-esteem which can escalate to cause depression and anxiety