Drugs: Our Youth At Risk

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Drugs: Our Youth At Risk Trish Jacobs August 12, 2010 Drug abuse is a wide spread problem in the world we live in. It is especially dangerous because it is a hidden enemy that is closer than you might think. Drug abuse is wide spread amongst our nation's youth. One of the most startling findings is the degree to which teenagers are now involved in drug use. This drug abuse problem has gotten worse. Perhaps we, as a society must hit “rock bottom” before changes occur. Before the 1960's, drug use/abuse among adolescents was not widely researched, and did not present much of a problem to society. It was not until after the 1960's that adolescent drug use/abuse became a concern to American society. Adolescent drug use/abuse is now considered a major problem by many experts. (Shoemaker,2009). Drug use/abuse in adolescents should be a matter of concern for all citizens, not just parents and officials. Adolescents who use/abuse drugs are faced with arising complications. These complications can include difficulties in school, health-related problems, (this includes mental health-related problems), poor peer relationships and also possible involvement with the juvenile justice system. There are consequences for the adolescent, family members, the community, and the entire society. Adolescent drug use/abuse is seen as a larger pattern of hardships among young people. These hardships include, but are not limited to; troubles at home, with peers, as well as learning and emotional problems. The more problems adolescents have, the higher their “risk” of drug use and abuse. (Dryfoos, 1990, 1998). Deteriorating grades, absenteeism from school are just two examples of the problems an adolescent who uses/abuses drugs may face in school. The Bureau of Justice Statistics, reported in a 1992 report that the “cognitive and behavioral problems experienced by

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