Assessing Special Populations
“In the United States, 14 million individuals age 12 and over report current use of an illicit drug, with 10% of youth age 12 to 17 reporting illicit drug use in the past 30 days” (Rowe & Liddle, 2003, p. 97). Substance abuse costs the Unites States over 100 billion dollars each year in health and crime cost. According to Rowe & Liddle (2003), parenting practices including low monitoring, ineffective discipline, and poor communication are important factors in the initiation and maintenance of drug abuse problems among youth (p. 97). In adulthood, substance abuse is also influenced by family and friends.
Some people can use recreational or prescription drugs without experiencing consequences or addiction. There are others, who experience problems in their home, work, school, and relationships that leave them feeling isolated, helpless, or ashamed. “The majority of first time drug users try drugs out of curiosity, to have a good time, because friends are doing it, or in an effort to improve athletic performance or ease another problem, such as stress, anxiety, or depression” (Robinson, Smith, & Saison, 2013). Substance abuse varies in individuals because of genes, mental health, family, and social environment. According to Robinson, Smith & Saison (2013), risk factors include family history of addiction, abuse, neglect, or other traumatic experiences in childhood, mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, early drug use, and method of administration; smoking or injecting a drug may increase its addictive potential.
Common signs and symptoms of substance abuse are neglecting responsibilities, taking risk while under the influence, legal troubles, and relationship problems. Signs of substance abuse also include development of tolerance, taking drugs to avoid or release withdrawal symptoms, life revolves around drug use, abandoning activities previously enjoyed, and continuous substance abuse despite major problems it creates....