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Preventing Drug Use Among Young Teens Essay Sample

Preventing Drug Use Among Young Teens Pages
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Abstract
Drug usage in the United States and the world can be considered as one big problem. This following document includes many sources that include information about helping prevent drug use among society. Using drugs can cause many problems to one such as mental, social, and law problems as well. Most drug use starts at a fairly young age, and is also influenced by friends or even family. Although there are many ways out there to help people stay off drugs or even get off of them, not all of them seem to work. Rehabs, drug prevention programs, Public service announcements, and ad campaigns are many things out in our society that are there to help prevent drug use. So what is the best way help prevent drug usage/abuse?

How will we make the best way known to people? With the research the author has done, there are many ways that adults/parents can do to help reduce teen drug use. Some of those can be by relying more on prevention programs that have been proven to work. Much of his research also shows many of studies that were done by universities that showed that much of drug use was caused by families and friends. He believes that preventing teen drug use will need to become a priority for our society because drug usage has been proven to begin at a young age and continues to begin even earlier as the years go by, and also drugs have been proven to cause many health issues. Many of his sources describe many ways that drug prevention can be successful. Overall, drug use can be prevented by families becoming more open with their children, creating better active prevention programs, and including the media more into drug prevention.

Preventing Drug Use among Young Teens
Teen drug use can be considered a big problem in our world today. Whether its marijuana, alcohol, or even cigarettes, teens and young children are beginning to experiment with drugs at a very young age. As a society we have not done enough to educate our young children about drugs and how unhealthy and dangerous they are for a person. Journal Compilation reports, “Evidence from research links cigarette smoking to causing chronic conditions, such as bronchitis, lung and laryngeal cancers, coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis, cerebrovascular Disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease”. With all of these new diseases caused from drugs, it is important for us as a society to try our hardest and prevent drug use. Some people believe that trying to prevent drug use is a waste of time or not important because they believe prevention programs do not work, it’s just too hard to try and keep them away from drugs, and that all kids will eventually end up trying drugs. However, drug prevention is important because programs have been proven to work, drug usage is beginning at a young age, and it is proven to cause many health issues.

Many people argue that prevention programs are not worth trying because they think that they do not work in helping prevent drug use. Although in doing research, there have been many studies to find that prevention programs are extremely helpful when trying to prevent drug use. In the journal “Preventing tobacco and drug use among Thai high school students through life skills training” (2006) the author talks about a study that he did on children ages 13-14 and how well the program worked in helping prevent drug use/abuse. The author stated that life skills training programs were a “proven effective in countering drug abuse” (p. 164). He also backed up his statements with his research, he stated, “Furthermore, the results revealed that the mean scores for the life skills, such as refusal, decision-making and problem-solving of the students in the intervention group were significantly higher at post-test than those of the control group.” (Seal, 2006).

This is clearly a good study that he conducted; he supports all of his statements with good credible evidence that was found in his studies. Dr. Seal’s study was a study that was proven to work and help prevent drug use, if that was not enough to change your mind, maybe this other study will help. “Preventing Drug Use among Young Adolescents” was a journal published in the Education Digest that talked about the particular findings in a study that focused on a prevention program called Project ALERT (Adolescent Learning Experiences in Resistance Training). This study mainly focused on how this program helped reduce or prevent the use of alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana among young adolescents. This study was tested on seventh and eighth graders in 30 schools from California and Oregon, the results were as follows:

“Findings provide strong empirical support for social influence drug prevention programs in schools with highly diverse student populations in urban, suburban, and rural areas. Project ALERT curbed use of cigarettes and marijuana, had significant effects for both low- and high-risk students, and reduced experimental and more regular use.”

This study showed to have had a significant effect on children that were used in this study. Both of these studies were conducted by professional people and are credible sources as well. These two studies were both proven to be effective in a way, so if these studies show that prevention programs really do work then what makes you think that many others will not?

Aside from the argument of prevention programs working or not, drug usage is beginning at a very young age these days. “Integrating Underage Drinking and Drug Use Prevention” was an article that was published in the Education Digest; this article talked about how to help prevent teen alcohol use, and also gave statistics on what percentage of teens had used alcohol. The article pointed out some statistics that may be appealing to many, it read as follows: “During the year 2004, 20% of eighth-graders and 60.3% of twelfth-graders reported that they had gotten drunk at least once over the course of just that year, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA). Of the 10.7 million underage youth who drink, 7.2 million or 31% of all high school students binge drink with a frequency of at least once a month”.

These show that underage drinking starts at an extremely young age and the percentages will only continue to rise. If society does not take the initiative to prevent drug use, things will only get worse. This is why drug prevention needs to become one of our priorities as a society. If you are still not convinced that this issue needs to become a priority for our society, then maybe some more information will help. “Thai students in grades 7–12 indicated that tobacco use was the most prevalent health risk behavior among this age group (Bunjaroonsilp, 2005). More than 60% of the students reported some cigarette smoking while > 20%reported smoking throughout the past year (Bunjaroonsilp, 2005)”.

This information has come from many credible sources; there are many other sources that show that drug use is beginning at a young age as well. Many parents are not aware of the problem, or simply just ignore because they believe that their child would never do drugs. In most cases they are wrong but have no idea. If society as a whole would pay more attention to preventing drug use, then there would not be that many young teens out there that would use drugs. If this still does not change your mind that drug prevention is something that we should prioritize, then what will because this information has proven that drug usage amongst teens is an issue that we need to resolve.

Finally, apart from prevention programs working and drug use beginning at a young age; it has been proven that all drugs cause many health risks. There are a lot of diseases that drugs can cause and many people are not aware of them. These are the reasons that some teens begin to use drugs; because they do not know what they can do to them. Alcohol can be one of the easiest drugs that a teen can access because they are the most common drug in a household if a parent drinks on the regular. In the journal Current Issues, there was an article titled “Drinking” that talked about many health related issues that alcohol could cause, it stated: “It can cause pancreatic and liver disease, including alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis. In addition, drinking excessively can raise blood pressure and damage heart muscles. Heavy drinking is linked to higher rates of many cancers, including cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, and esophagus. High alcohol consumption is also associated with increased rates of breast cancer, and of colorectal cancer in men.”

All of these health risks have been proven by many health professionals. Studies have been made and proved that alcohol is the leading cause of many kidney diseases as well. For a second, just stop and think about many teens that can get access to alcohol, it’s scary to know that many of these diseases can be forming in our children without us even knowing. It could be your child and you do not even know it. Maybe this will help you change your mind into thinking that drug use prevention should become one of our main priorities as a society. “Cocaine” was an article published on the website Opposing Viewpoints, which talked about cocaine and health risks that it causes as well as much information about cocaine. In the article it stated: “The most serious effect of using cocaine is the possibility of sudden death. It can happen after the first use or anytime thereafter. Sudden death can occur with cocaine use alone, but it more commonly occurs when cocaine is combined with alcohol or other drugs.”

This statement has also been proven to be true in many real life scenarios. There are many young kids out there that are pressured into using drugs by their friends, and many end up doing it because they think it is the cool thing to do. How would you feel if you got a phone call saying that your child has died from overdose on cocaine or any other drug? Now is the time for us as a society to change how we think about drug prevention. We have the power to change what we want. So we should use it!

Clearly, drug prevention is important because prevention programs have been proven to work and can help decrease drug use, drug use is beginning at a young age, and drugs cause major health issues to a person. Drugs are a big part of our society now, and teens are beginning to use them more and more, so as a society we need decrease the drug usage amongst our teens. I am pretty sure that you do not want a call letting you know that your child has died because he overdosed on drugs. So become part of the society that will take the initiative to help reduce the risk children using drugs.

References

Drinking (Alcoholic Beverages) (2010). In Current Issues. Detroit: Gale. Retrieved on April 16, 2011, from http://ic.galegroup.com.ezproxy1.lib.asu.edu
Ellickson, P. L., & Bell, R. M. (1990). Preventing Drug Use among Young Adolescents. Education Digest, 56(3), 63-67. Retrieved on April 15, 2011, from http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy1.lib.asu.edu Seal, N. (2006). Preventing tobacco and drug use among Thai high school students through life skills training. Nursing & Health Sciences, Retrieved on April 15, 2011, from http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy1.lib.asu.edu Sawvel, P. J. (2010). Cocaine. In S. L. Blachford & K. Krapp (Eds.), Drugs and Controlled
Substances: Information for Students. Detroit: Gale. Retrieved on April 17, 2011, from http://ic.galegroup.com.ezproxy1.lib.asu.edu Wolfsberg, J. S. (2006). Integrating Underage Drinking and Drug Use Prevention. (Cover story). Education Digest, 72(3), 52-54. Retrieved on April 12,2011, from http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy1.lib.asu.edu

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