Work Together to Prevent Substance Abuse

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Work Together To Prevent Substance Abuse in Adolescents

Adolescent years can be really hard to deal with because of the many changes a teen can go through mentally and physically. Sometimes a teen can feel that turning to drugs or alcohol is the answer, which can lead to substance abuse. Substance abuse among teens can be one of the reasons they are not doing well in school, have problems with authority figures, drive under the influence and turn to having unprotected sexual relationships, resulting in a high risk for contracting sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS or HIV. The United States has the highest rate of adolescent drug use among teens who are around the ages of 12-17. Among these teens there are some risk factors that go along with the substance abuse. Teens may have poor self-esteem, learning disabilities, depression and other mood disorders, distancing from peers or family, aggression and physical or sexual abuse which can have serious effects on a teen and can lead to suicide. Substance abuse in teens can also be associated with disruptive behaviors such as conduct disorders, oppositional disorders like ADD or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder known as ADHD which can carry on into adulthood. There are other risk factors that can contribute to teens turning to drugs and alcohol and why teens continue to use these substances. For instance, peer pressure can have teens feel pressured to use substances if their group of friends are doing it. Teens feel they have to do what their friends are doing in order to fit in or to stay friends with that group. According to Goldberg (2010), “Adolescents who affiliate with deviant peers are more likely to be accepted for using drugs such as alcohol” (p. 52). Having friends is extremely important to teens, they…...

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