The Effects Of Substance Abuse On Adolescents

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Adolescence is the period of time from puberty to adulthood. During this time, children experience physical, emotional, and psychological development. There are also developments in the adolescents’ sense of self, including independence and making their own choices. Because of the multitude of decisions to be made during this time, there can be a lot of room for error or misjudgements. One very common bad decision is substance use and abuse. Although drug and alcohol use is common and many users don’t develop a dependence on the substances, the adolescents who end up developing the disorders of substance abuse and dependence make substance use a major public health concern (Sanchez-Samper, Knight, p. 83). Substance abuse can lead to many developmental problems in adolescents. Problems experienced by adolescents who use alcohol and drugs include “impaired peer relations, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, acquisition of sexually transmitted infections, teenage pregnancy, date rape, and overall involvement in high-risk sexual behaviors. Motor vehicle crashes, suicide, and homicide also have been linked closely to adolescent substance use” (Sanchez-Samper, Knight, p. 83). The most common causes of death among adolescents in the United States result from car crashes, suicide, homicide, and other injuries that can all be linked to substance use (Sanchez-Samper, Knight, p. 83). To understand and attempt to combat adolescent drug abuse, people must understand the effects of
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