Essay on Adolescent Substance Abuse

1656 Words Mar 21st, 2011 7 Pages
Running Header: Substance Abuse

Adolescent Substance Abuse
Dana Sweitzer
Liberty University

Abstract Adolescent substance abuse is a major problem in society. There are many risk factors that can contribute to adolescent substance abuse. One of the main risk factors is peer pressure. When adolescents start at a young age there is an increase in health problems, addiction, and over all poor social outcomes. Parental influence has substantial effect on adolescents because the adolescent sees their parents and they learn by their example. Media plays a role in the use of drug and alcohol use among young people. Many school systems have implemented programs that teach adolescents about the problems of substance abuse that is funded
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Among adolescents aged 12 to 17 years, 9.8 % are estimated to be current users of illicit drugs, with 4.9 % using drugs other than marijuana. Nearly three quarters of students have started to drink alcohol and nearly half (47%) have tried using an illicit drug (not including alcohol or tobacco) by the senior year of high school.” (Hassan, Harris, Sherritt, Van Hook, & Brooks, 2009)
Media has a lot to do with adolescent substance abuse. Many times in advertisement, adolescents see people drinking alcohol and having a great time. Media spends over $25 billion dollars on advertisement yearly. Many celebrities are seen smoking or drinking alcohol in movies, TV, and on commercials. This makes adolescents think that drinking, smoking, and taking drugs are cool and will make them popular. Over 5000 deaths yearly are caused by alcohol consumption. (Strasburger, 2010)
Parental and peer influence plays an important role in adolescent substance abuse. Peer pressure can influence each adolescent either indirectly or directly. Peer pressure is the most frequently discussed risk factor. Peer substance abuse is the leading cause of adolescent substance abuse. Parental influence can be positive or negative. They can have a significant influence on adolescents. Parents can influence their kids

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