Substance Abuse Essay

3565 WordsNov 6, 201115 Pages
Substance Abuse in Adolescents “Physical, emotional, and social well-being among youth is important for numerous reasons, not the least of which are the long-lasting effects into adulthood. Childhood and adolescence are pivotal developmental stages during which many life-long health behaviours, beliefs and attitudes become established. Therefore, healthy children will likely become healthy adults”. (Adlaf, Paglia & Beitchman, 2002, 1). Being a teenager is often a confusing, challenging time, which can make teens vulnerable to falling into a destructive pattern of drug use. While most teens probably see their drug use as a casual way to have fun, there are negative effects that are a result of this use of alcohol or other drugs. Even if adolescent drug use does not necessarily lead to adult drug abuse, there are still risks and consequences of adolescent drug use. These negative effects usually include a drop in academic performance or interest, and strained relationships with family or friends. Adolescent substance abuse can greatly alter behavior, and a new preoccupation with drugs can crowd out activities that were previously important. Drug use can also change friendships as teens begin to associate more with fellow drug users, who encourage and support one another's drug use. For adolescents, these changes as a result of substance abuse signal a problem in the teen's environment, and should be seen as a call to action for parents, teachers, or friends to seek help for their loved one. What is Substance Abuse? Substance abuse refers to the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illicit drugs. Psychoactive substance use can lead to dependence syndrome – a cluster of behavioral, cognitive, and physiological phenomena that develop after repeated substance use and that typically include a strong desire to take the drug,

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