Research Paper on Drug and Alcohol Abuse Among the Youths

Published: 2023-03-14
Research Paper on Drug and Alcohol Abuse Among the Youths
Type of paper:  Term paper
Categories:  Substance abuse Drug abuse
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1813 words
16 min read


Psychiatric drugs involve chemical substances that affect the central nervous' system functioning and altering perceptions, consciousness, and mood. Drug abuse includes the frequent or misuse of illegal drugs, and it is especially deliberated among young people (Somani & Meghan, 2016). Substance abuse has been a global health problem and its prevalence among the youths growing at an alarming rate. There has been common experimentation of drugs and alcohol during the youth's adolescent stage, and the teenagers seem not to see the links of their current actions to future consequences, coupled with their tendencies to feel distractable and immune to the feelings of others. Alcohol and drug abuse among the youths have therefore presented vast adverse outcomes, among others health risks, increased use of drugs later in life, school failures, clouded judgments, unplanned and unsafe sex, violence, and suicides in worst-case scenarios.

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According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 59%-71% of adolescents in the United States are estimated to have consumed alcohol, as 31%-41% of them have consumed drugs, and 4%-6% have consumed cocaine by the age of 17(Swendsen, Burstein &Case, 2012). There has been a sizeable cumulative use of substance disorders among the youths aged 13 and 18 years. That is underscored by the four-lifetime alcohol stages inclusive of use, regular; use, abuse devoid of dependence, and dependency abuse. Also, through the four-lifetime scenes of the use of illicit drugs, which underlies the use opportunity, first drug use, abuse of drugs without dependence, and dependence on drug abuse (Swendsen et al., 2012). The prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse in theses stages is underlined by sex, age, and race/ethnicity. Alcohol and drug abuse are common among adolescents in the U.S., and NSDUH indicates that most abuse cases have initial onsets in this initial developmental period youth a youth. Drug-related deaths among teenagers amount to be estimated to be 211000 by 2011, underscored by predesigning factors like poverty, anger, gender, stress, family relations and structure and affordability, and accessibility of such drugs (Somani & Meghan, 2016).

Determinants of Alcohol and Substance Abuse among the Youths

Huge risk factors are contributing to alcohol and substance abuse among the youth, inclusive of among others gender, media, family, peer pressure affordability, and accessibility of such drugs. Such risk factors can help the community and health professionals in addressing the issue of alcohol and substance abuse among the youth. One of the causes of alcohol and substance abuse among adolescents is peer pressure and media owing to the exposure of drug-related activities in the markets (Strasburger, 2010). Popular media and marketing activities depict the positivity and commonalities of drinking in the society, coupled with branded merchandise with t-shirts and posters encouraging the use of drugs and drinking of alcohol in the organization. Additionally, most youths are influenced by their friends into taking alcohol and substance abuse.

Poverty informs another determinant of alcohol and drug abuse among the youths. Substance abuse and alcohol drinking are primarily prevalent among the middle and inferior socioeconomic sectors of the world owing to the effects of poverty on a person's well-being and the psychological and physical consequences on an individual. Poverty pushes them to resort to drugs and alcohol as a last resort of seeking solace. There is a high prevalence of substance abuse and alcohol intake among the youth living in poverty as they use such substances to cope with the substantial life stressors like unemployment, social inadequacy, and inadequacy of housing and lack of affordable daycare. Most youths in the streets and those living below poverty lines are prone to be drug addicts. Drugs like heroin, cocaine, marijuana hashish, among others, are common among poor youths as compared to the wealthy ones owing to the former's unemployment and low levels of literacy.

Family structures may also be contributing factors to drug and alcohol abuse among the youth, especially in single-parent families that have higher risks of drug and alcohol abuse as compared to dual families. That is owing to more financial crises that single parents face making them have minimal time to monitor their children. That also results in lees parental supervision that informs the dependency by the peers on information related to appropriate behaviors hence high alcohol intake and substance abuse. Additionally, imperfect parent and child relationships may lead to increase consumption of alcohol among the youth, and in some cases, most parents are always abusers; hence, their children ape them in abusing drugs (Somani % Meghan, 2016).

The substances' availability and accessibility enhance another factor contributing to drug and alcohol abuse. Tobacco and alcohol, for instance, are depicted to be affordable and available in most countries. Many adolescents are represented to have started drinking alcohol and taking drugs at younger ages owing to their access to such substances at home from their parents, friends, family members, and parents. Such attitudes facilitate early alcohol and drug abuse, which may continue o later in life. Besides, there is a global prevalence underscored by age and gender, impacting the lousy growth development of the youth. Drug abuse is most common among male adolescents than females that are owing to the more supervision and monitoring of girls than boys by parents. The geographical locations of the youth can also increase their prevalence for substance abusers, especially is they reside in the localities and neighborhoods with high levels of alcohol and drug abuse. They stand higher risks of being substance abusers as well.

Highest Risks Periods for Drug and Alcohol Abuse among Youth

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse Research in 2003 October, the initial periods for drug abuse occur during major transitions in the lives of children starting from the immediate period when they leave the security of their families and enter school. The period advances later during adolescents during their transition from elementary school to middle school. That is owing to their experiences and exposures to new academic and social institutions like getting along with more full per groups, thus informing their prevalent encounters of drugs. Their transitions to high school tell their additional social, emotional, and educational challenges, coupled with the exposure to the greater availability of drugs, abusers of drugs, and drug-related social activities. The challenges they face during this transition underscore their increase in risks of alcohol intake, tobacco, and other substance abuse. The last transformation is underlined immediately they leave home to college or work where they enjoy a lot of freedom for the first time. This transition sees high risks of drug and alcohol abuse at very high chances, and it may advance to adulthood owing to their persistence during adulthood.

Effects of Drug and Alcohol Abuse among the Youth

Drugs and substance abuse hurt youth harm teenagers and young adults. One of the primary presenting problems is learning problems and adverse educational outcomes. That is owing to the adverse effects on the youth's memories and difficulties I memorizing things, thus poor results in schools as the brain is unable to work efficiently after the shed of its grey matter by drugs among teenagers. Drug and alcohol abuse also results in social problems among youth and anti-social behaviors like theft, violence, delinquency, and physical fights. Similarly. the child who is under the influence of drugs and alcohol are likely to present risky social behaviors like engaging in unprotected sex and having sex with strangers, thereby increasing their chances of contracting sexually transmitted infections or teenage pregnancies.

Besides, drugs and alcohol abuse among the youth increases worldwide modality and mobility of crime, with a total of 200,000 drug-related deaths in 2000 (Somani & Meghani,2016). That is though infections like hepatitis C among those who use drug injections and spread of HIV through the shared needles during the drug administrations and other related health conditions like cancer and hepatitis B and c. Drug and alcohol abuse has also cost the community not only by buying drugs at higher costs but also in hospital admissions, accidents, disabilities, diseases, and death. The substance and drug abuse have led to increasing rape cases, assaults, traffic fatalities, teenage suicides, murders, and theft and drug abuse. Students also face both physical and mental problems owing to the continued use of drugs or can intentionally harm themselves.

Solutions and Intervention Mechanisms

Due to the high drug and alcohol effects among the youths, there should be effective intervention models to curb the calamity through various players and stakeholders. The media, for instance, should play an influential role in societal change through campaigns of drug and alcohol abuse among the youth coupled with the marketing of positive influences of drug abuse prevention. Additionally, they should telecast talk shows, story-making, conferences, and programs related announcements were prohibiting drug and alcohol abuse among the youths. The community, too, through the engagement of community elders and inclusivity of various sectors like education, health, media ad government, should receive training on the identification of community-related needs to drug and alcohol abuse prevention. Additionally, there should be policy implementations through policy changes in the community, schools, city, and country levels aimed at the reduction of drugs and alcohol access among the youth.

Similarly, the school curriculum should also play a critical role in curbing the issue through the incorporation of drug lessons in school sessions as the teachers train the youths on the importance of drug resistance and their consequences. That would consequently make the youths to take active campaigns against drug abuse. Parents should also play an active role in their kids' drug prevention-related programs by liaising with the former's teachers and preparing them for their purposes. They should also act as good role models a home by minimizing drug and alcohol abuse at homes for their kids not to emulate. Finally, they should always monitor their children and offering guidance and counseling sessions to them on the effects and need to avoid drug and alcohol abuse.


Drug and alcohol abuse among the underscores a significant problem to the public and health globally. The risk factors are always concerning the vulnerability of the individual, his/her economic, and social realms. The effects of substance abuse among the youth present dire consequences ranging from fatal, health, and mental problems. Apart from the individuals, the players that feel the impacts of alcohol and substance abuse among the youth are the parents, friends, family, and community. With their common consequences of alcohol and drugs among adolescents, there is a need to heighten the fight against the pandemic. The effectiveness of the battle against substance abuse should involve various stakeholders like the school, health sectors, community, media, policymakers, and parents to see its success. Additionally, there should be proper allocation of resources in the fight against youth substance and alcohol abuse, coupled with exemplary actions of the parents, family members, and the community as a whole to the youth in the quest to prevent substance abuse.

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