Drug use and its effect on juvenile delinquency

Published: 2019-08-29 08:00:00
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Drugs are common in our modern society, and this makes it easy for the young people to access the substances and use them. There are strict regulations that control the use of drugs in the society, but it is mysterious that the young people end up using the drugs. This is against the religious teachings which propose that "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body (1Corinthians 6:19, English Standard Version).

The fact that the Bible warns against the use of drugs is evidence that the activity is evil, and youths should keep away from drugs. The aim of this research paper is to evaluate the relationship between drug use and juvenile delinquency. The thesis of the paper is that there is a positive relationship between drug use and juvenile delinquency.

Youths who start using drugs tend to have antisocial behaviours, staying alone and far from the relatives so that they are not noticed. In such a situation, the young people get no advice as they alienate themselves from the rest of the members of the society. Idle individuals are tempted to engage in activities that can lead them to jails. Idle mind makes the young people make plans of engaging in crimes. They are likely to be enticed by criminals who are also idle and can lead them to jails.

Additionally, the young people who take drugs need cash to buy such drugs. This becomes worse when these people are addicted, and have to use the drugs daily (Junger-Tas, 2012). Since their parents cannot meet their financial demands, they end up stealing from their parents, and after they are closely monitored by their parents, they start stealing from the society. Stealing is a serious crime that can lead the young people to jails.

Young people can easily be influenced by their peers once they are under the influence of alcohol. 1 Corinthians 6:13 (English Standard Version) says "Do not be deceived: "Bad company ruins good morals." However, it is evident that many young people end up being deceived once they have taken drugs. They do not have time to think about the suggestions that their friends give and they are also keen not to let their friends down. They end up following what their peers are doing without realizing that they are doing the wrong thing. The drugs make them feel bold and engage in serious criminal acts without realizing that they are engaging in crimes. They only realize that they made the mistakes when they are sober, and nothing can be done about what they already did. The end results are that the young people have to be taken to the courts where they are punished for their crimes.

The understanding, in this case, is that young people are in a better position to make independent decisions without being greatly influenced by their peers when sober. This ability is lost when individuals are under the influence of alcohol and cannot control what they think and do. They could avoid committing crimes by not taking drugs because, with sobriety, they have the reasoning to realize that crimes are not good, and they should not be part of the criminals.

Youths tend to lose judgement capabilities when under the influence of alcohol. The Bible says "Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise (Proverbs: 20:1 English Standard Version." The meaning of this verse is that wine, which is a drug, can lead an individual into engaging into deviant behaviour.

When it comes to the young people who tend to overuse drugs such as wine, the fact is that they end up engaging in activities that amount to criminal acts without appropriate judgement. Drugs lead individuals into astray because it makes individuals not to reason, or act in a way that they can support their actions with reason.

Many young people are not used to drugs, and once they have used the substances, they tend to lose judgement abilities and also tend to be violent. They feel full of energy at such times and may be tempted to misuse their energy in engaging in criminal activities. Self-control is no longer an option to these young people, and this is why one may wonder that a young person who appears innocent when sober has committed a crime. The fact is that when one has committed a crime, the fact that they were sober or not may not be an issue to argue about. They are more likely to end up in prisons where they would be expected to reform their behaviours.

Most of the drugs in various parts of the world are illegal. The Bible does not also support the use of the drug in any way. 1Corinthians 3:16 (English Standard Version) argues that Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? The verse to Christians means that the individuals who use drugs destroy their bodies, which are equivalent of temples of God. Individuals destroying the temple of God ought to be punished severely. While drinking use of drugs may not lead to punishments from God, one may suffer from diseases that are associated with the use of drugs, which is more like a punishment for a crime committed. Excessive use of Alcohol leads to diseases such as liver cirrhosis.

Apart from the punishments, use of some drugs is itself an illegal act since many drugs are not legal. While one may escape being caught by the law enforcement officers, they may end up committing crimes unintentionally. Young people driving under the influence of drugs tend to cause accidents. They tend to over speed and drive in prohibited areas which are illegal (Crowe, 1998). If they cause deaths on the roads, the events may not be their intentions, but the indirect crimes that they commit because of the abuse of drugs. In some other cases, a pedestrian may end up causing accidents as they cross roads which are also illegal acts.

It is common that the young people who take drugs also tend to engage in some form of criminal activities. Violence in schools, fights, and serious crimes are committed by young people who are not able to judge their actions and make correct decisions. It is agreeable that some youths may commit crimes based on other factors such as poverty levels or learned behaviour from relatives. However, the fact is that the young people who use drugs are more likely to engage in criminal activities as compared to those that do not use drugs (Crowe, 1998).

1corinthians 5:11 (English Standard Version) warns But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, revilers, drunkard, or swindlernot even to eat with such a one." The verse acts as a warning to people, not to associate themselves with people engaging in immoral activities such as using alcohol. It is obvious that the Bible projects that using drugs such as alcohol may mislead individuals, making them engage in criminal activities. The Bible, in this case, agrees with the research that young people who use drugs with their friends can easily be influenced to engage in criminal activities that they would not wish to engage in when sober.

There are alternative points of view in the argument. Some researchers argue that individuals do not engage in criminals activities because they have used drugs, but they use drugs with the intention of committing crimes. This means that drugs is not the cause of crimes because such individuals would commit crimes even without drugs (Elliott, 1985). For others, young people are not very different from the adults, considering that the difference between the adult age and a minor may be very little.

Young people can take right amounts of alcohol and make decisions that are correct like adults do. When young people learn to manage themselves when under the influence of drugs, they are less likely to be violent hence engage in criminal activities. This means that it would be unreasonable to argue that drugs make the young people in the society engage in criminal activities.

Other arguments are that the nature of children, which means the genetic components of a young individual is the major thing that influences whether children engage in crimes or not. If they are born in a family where family and relatives are violent and engage in criminal activities, they are more likely to engage in crimes regardless of whether they have access to drugs or not. Additionally, there are various other factors that may shape the behaviour of the young people in the society, including the environment they are brought up in and the poverty they experience in their daily lives (Crowe, 1998).

The children may engage in crimes because they lack basic needs and have no option. Young people raised by single parents also have imbalanced emotions and can act angrily leading to them engaging in criminal activities. Th the argument is that regardless of whether the young people who engage in crimes also use drugs, drugs are not the root cause of the criminal activities. There are also other factors that could motivate the young people to engage in deviant behaviour.

Recommendations

The recommendations are based on the observation that the use of drugs in a way influences the young people to engage in criminal activities. Policies can be developed by the government to deal with the problem. There should be clear laws that are effectively implemented, hindering the business people from selling any kind of drug to the under age. There should be a way of proving that one is an adult before they can buy drugs. Punishing the business people selling drugs such as alcohol to the children can discourage the others from engaging in similar acts.

Parents, teachers and the elderly in the society should play the role of ensuring that the children realize the disadvantages of using drugs. If the children learn that the drugs are dangerous and should not be used even when supplied by peers, they are less likely to use drugs hence may not engage in criminal activities (Bartollas, 2001). The parents should also be close to their children to notice behaviour changes that are associated with drug use, so that they can be advised accordingly to stop using drugs.

In addition to targeting use of drugs as the major cause of juvenile delinquency, the government should focus on dealing with other cause of delinquency. They should seek to improve the living standards of the society, alleviate poverty as well as create jobs for the young people. This can ensure that crimes committed by minors are reduced significantly.

Conclusion

It is obvious that the use of drugs makes the children engage in criminal activities that land them to jails. After using drugs, the children can be easily influenced by their peers to engage in criminal activities. They lose their ability to judge and tend to be more violent. As their financial needs increase, they are compelled to engage in criminal activities such as stealing (Bartollas, 2001). The various stakeholders in the society should take action to ensure that access to drugs by children is reduced as a way of reducing juvenile delinquency. There is a need for advice and support by parents and elder members of the society so that the children can abstain from using drugs. This should be accompanied by other policies such as alleviating poverty and creating jobs since these are other factors that can cause juvenile delinquency.

References

Bartollas, C. (2001). Juvenile delinquency. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Crowe, A. H., & United States. (1998). Drug identification and testing in the juvenile justice system: Summary. Darby, Pa: Diane Publishing Co.

1 Corinthians 6:19, (English Standard Version)

1 Corinthians 3:16 (English Standard Version)

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