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Drug Use Amongst Teenagers Essay, Research Paper
More than 70 percent of 15 to 17-year-olds see high schools as a place where drugs are sold, used and kept. Almost 70 percent of 17-year-olds can buy marijuana within a few hours or even minuets and have friends who smoke pot or have a serious drug or alcohol abuse problem. Most of these teens find marijuana easier to buy than cigarettes or beer and claim drugs to be their number one problem, far exceeding social and sexual pressures. And to make things even worse, this type of behavior is on the rise and is disturbing the parents as well.
But why are drugs so popular among teens? And why is the use of drugs rising faster than a helium balloon? To fully understand that, one has to understand why a person would use drugs in the first place. There are several reasons and each depends on the age group, situation and the person s background history.
The first and most common reason why people use drugs is in order to reduce unpleasant anxiety and unwanted feelings (Brain & Mind 2). Feelings such as depression and anger. A group of philosophers described life as an emotional roller coaster, which always ends by death. Human beings are unwillingly thrown into it and constantly confronted by tragedy, depression and confusion. No wonder human beings are so eager to escape reality.
The second reason why people use drugs is in order to enhance bodily sensations such as hearing, taste and touch (Brain & Mind 1). Many drug users claim that during the use of their favorite drug, music sounds better, colors are brighter and the taste of food is improved, making everyday activities that much more fun.
The last and the less common reason why people use drugs is in order to increase psychophysical performances (Brain & Mind 2). In other words, to increase energy and reduce unpleasant bodily sensations such as pain and tiredness. This applies less to teens but more to adults for reasons being that young people already have enough energy. But a number of post-secondary students have reported using amphetamine in order to stay awake and study. Other than that, the use of such drugs has been relatively low.
So now you can see why someone would result to drugs. After all, us humans are constantly seeking pleasurable stimuli, such as tasteful foods or a nice cold coke. This triggers a special reward in our brains, thus causing us to want to do the same thing again. Which is how an American neurobiologist named James Olds believes drug addiction works. He states that Whenever a person uses a drug and the effect is produces is somehow pleasant, this effect gets a rewarding quality for that person (Cardoso and Sabbatini 1).
This applies even more when dealing with younger people. Usually kids get addicted to fun activities a whole lot more than adults, which makes the use of drugs among younger generation even a bigger problem. A number of studies have shown that the young men and women that make it through the age of 21 without the use of drugs or alcohol, have a much less chance of doing so when they are older (Califano Jr. 1). Since teens aren t fully aware of all the harmful things that they do to their minds and bodies, they simply go ahead and do it. Even if they do have sum idea, chances are they don t know the whole story, thus thinking that it s ok.
But it s not and they have to be educated and shown exactly what they re doing to their bodies. And to be honest, putting up ads such as Just Say No! isn t going to do it. Because that doesn t show anything! All that shows is that the government does not want us to use drugs. Do they honestly think that a rebellious teenager is going to do exactly what the government is telling them? I highly doubt it. What they need is a new strategy. They need to show exactly why drugs are not good for young developing bodies. And they have to make it as gruesome and realistic as possible. And show all the nasty outcomes that comes with drugs. Such as broken families and depression. Not because it makes them look uncool . I laugh when they try to tell me what is cool and what is not. And getting an actor to do it doesn t help either. Because most of us know they re just actors. In addition, they have to back it all up by stating that this is a proven fact that has been researched by many doctors and scientist. So we can see that they re not kidding around. That this isn t just something that they don t want us to do, but rather a health concern. Obviously they can t make these teens not do drugs. But they can help a whole lot by giving as much information on it as possible so they can realize for the selves and quit on their own. That s the only way they ll do it.
It s unbelievable how blind the government really is. Do they even realize how easy it is to get drugs? Do they know how often a teen gets asked if they want Ecstasy, Crystal Meth, PCP, Acid, Speed and etc. right on streets of downtown? And the prices make it very affordable even if you deliver newspapers. Crystal Meth, one of the most addictive and brain damaging drugs, go as low as $5 a cap. All night parties (Raves) have the same problem. But imaging having been asked 20 times and not have to worry about police catching you like they can on the streets. And these are all age parties we re talking about. So pretty much anyone can get inside.
Now it wont be fair of me to blame all of this on the government because parents are just as blind. Three-fourths blame society for drugs being sold and used at their children s schools and only 14 percent hold themselves responsible (Califano Jr. 2). Well let me tell you something, parents are just as responsible as the society is, if not more. Because as a parent, it s their duty to raise their child and that means teaching them about these things. If they expect our school to educate them about drugs and sex then of course their not going to turn out exactly like they wanted them to. Almost half the parents don t think they have much influence on whether their kids will use drugs (Califano Jr. 2). Of course they will! If they teach them from an early age they ll grow up with knowing that drugs are just as bad as lets say stealing or killing. And who do these parents expect their children to listen to? Teachers? Government? Police? How about Bubba from cell #35? They ll be spending a lot of time together if these parents don t get the message across to their kids. Almost all kids will pick up habits from their friends and chances are, that friend is just as uneducated about drugs as next one.
Sure the government plays a big role, but lets face it. Drugs come to most schools and neighborhoods not by invasion but by invitation (Califano Jr 2-3). So why are drugs so popular amongst our children and also rising as u read this? Because more and more children are brought into this world without the proper guidance, because parents are too busy with their jobs to sit down and talk about these things, and because more and more people are accepting drugs into our society. So until parents and their children decide they want a drug free environment, it sure as hell won t happen.
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