Substance abuse is presently one of the matters affecting the world. The use of illegitimate drugs that cause cognitive and physiological consequences is a behavior that has affected the lives of many youths by damaging property, causing physical incapacity as well as school dropouts. There is a need to analyze different environments and conditions under which addiction occurs and do research on ways of reducing drug addiction in adolescence, including spiritual interventions.
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Relationship between abuse and addiction in adolescence
Abuse is the misuse of something that results in bad effects, while addiction is the persistent replication of a behavior notwithstanding its adverse effects. Drug use is particularly common during the adolescent stage and increases emotional and mental disorders to those who were already exposed (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). Risky substance use by adolescents can cause addiction, which may result in deadly accidents, sexually transmitted diseases, undesired pregnancies, psychological and medical illness.
Various studies have shown that there is a relationship between those who start using drugs early and drug addiction later in life. This implies that the earlier the start of the use of drugs, the higher the chances of the risk of becoming addicted. During the adolescent stage, there is a probability of the use of drugs and getting addicted since the comprehension and decision-making part of the brain has not completely matured.
One of the physical developments during the adolescent stage is brain maturity. When adolescents use risky and addictive substances, they are prone to brain alterations and inefficiencies. The frequent use of alcohol and marijuana relates to the low response by the brain, according to studies. The adolescent brain is, in most cases, vulnerable to damages by alcohol exposure as it lessens memory development than in adults (Feldman, 2014). Substance users, especially adolescents,, are at risk of mental deterioration and permanent damage to the brain as they are likely to drink for a long period as opposed to adults.
Alcohol abuse is a way of alcoholism that harms an individual’s health, relationships, or ability to his duties. The short-term risk may include violence or unprotected sex, while long-term abuse may include drunk driving. Alcohol abuse may result in neglect of responsibilities. This may occur at home or in school, whereby an individual skips out commitments. There is also the danger of causing accidents when one drives under the influence of alcohol that may cause even deaths.
Effects of healthy Spiritual Development on addiction by adolescents
Spiritual development plays a big role in preventing or reducing the use of dangerous substances as well as an addiction by adolescents. Religious institutions and churches necessitate spiritual development. Religion protects adolescents from occupying their minds with health-harming behaviors and encourages engagement in behaviors that nurture health. Religious institutions protect adolescents by ensuring they have information and help that boost positive and worthwhile life, morality, and opportunities that foster skills.
It makes adolescents have thoughts of reconciliation, peace and belonging. Attending religious institutions and churches positively affects the activities related to health, psychological distress and wellbeing, risk-taking behaviors, and positive development and thriving (Roehlkepartian et al., 2005).
The attendance of religious institutions and churches for religious teachings and values improves healthy lifestyles that include getting enough sleep and living positive lifestyles.
Psychological distress and wellbeing
Religious affiliation and teachings reduce loneliness, depression, and hopelessness as most of the teachings focus on hope. There is also self-esteem and life satisfaction as adolescents meets people who have positively accomplished so much through spiritual development.
There is a considerable reduction in the involvement in dangerous activities like smoking and drinking by religiosity. Religiosity also affects sexual activities in adolescents as, in most cases, partners believe in abstinence until marriage, and this reduces the risks of early pregnancies and disease infections. Attending religious meetings and teachings also reduces crime rates among adolescents.
The adolescents that frequently attend religious institutions or teachings tend to posses strong religious identity and commitment to a purpose in life. They also tend to participate more often in community service thus identifying themselves more with the community at large.
Alcohol Abuse in Atlanta
Alcohol use in Atlanta is primary considering the number of deaths, treatment admissions, and arrests as compared to other drugs that are rampant in the area (Margolis, 1995). The most affected is the adolescent stage, which is a critical period in the development of adolescents, and the youth. Most adolescents are using the substance as a stimulant. Cases of cynical behavior have also risen in recent years in Atlanta according to research.
Alcohol abuse according to research has caused negative academic, social, psychological, economical, and psychological development among the abusers. There is damage of the brain by alcohol exposure and this eventually causes brain deterioration. Alcohol abuse causes break ups and family disintegrations according to research. Individuals who drink too much end up not being able to control their urge to consume more ending up becoming addicted. Research has also shown that sex workers in Atlanta consume alcohol as a way of rendering them insensitive.
The consequences of the use of these substances by the youth are serious health conditions, dropping out from schools by the youth, setback in mental advancement and violence. Most of the drug abuse and addictions in Atlanta are cause by disintegrated homes, disgruntlement, and emotive
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Drug addiction prevalence is mostly rampant amongst the young people especially those in adolescent stage. It is also clear that early involvement of individuals in illicit drugs have an impact of causing addiction in future. Drug use, brings about alteration of the brain, which adversely affect the abilities of an individual including learning incapability and may cause violence and fatal circumstances like accidents. This frequently results to school dropouts. The use of illicit drugs and substances seems to be growing and may escalate to alarming levels and hence there is an urgent need to get more information about drug addiction to use in promoting prevention programs as well as the best ways to use in rehabilitating the already affected groups.
American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association.
Feldman, R. S. (2014). Development across the life span (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. ISBN: 126962198X.
Roehlkepartian, E., King, P., Wagener, L., & Benson, P. (2005). The handbook of spiritual development in childhood and adolescence. CA: Sage Publishing. ISBN: 9780761930785.
Margolis, R. D. (1995). Adolescent chemical dependence: Assessment, treatment and management. New York:Guilford.