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Impact of Drug Abuse on Adolescent Development Analytical Essay

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Updated: Jun 19th, 2019

Introduction

Many counselors face challenges while addressing issues related to adolescents’ development processes. This makes it difficult for them to provide counseling services to young people effectively. Moreover, most adolescents experience rapid brain and body development (Copans, Kinney, & Estroff, 2001). Therefore, the goal of this paper is to analyze the factors that influence the development process among young people.

It will also analyze the substance abuse patterns and their influence on adolescents’ behavior. It will discuss why the issue of drug abuse is rampant among young people. Moreover, it will discuss substance abuse stages and the impact of drug abuse on adolescents’ development process. It will also compare the weaknesses and strengths of the topic and offer suggestions on how the relevance it can be improved.

Discussion Question

Today, the issue of drug abuse is rampant among adolescents. Advancements in information technology have made it possible for adolescents to gather sufficient information about the places where they can obtain drugs easily. This paper will therefore discuss whether it’s possible for counselors to intervene with the drug consumption patterns among adolescents in today’s world.

Discussion

Adolescents are young people whose ages lie between 11 and 20 years. There are three stages of development that adolescents go through in life. These include early adolescence (11-14 years), middle adolescence (15-17 years), and late adolescence (18-20 years).

When young people are in the early adolescence stage, they lay emphasis on issues such as self-appearance and rapid physical growth. They also conform to activities that their peers undertake in order to gain their recognition and acceptance. In this case, when adolescents experience rapid body changes, they become concerned about their appearance (Copans, Kinney, & Estroff, 2001).

On the other hand, adolescents develop new thinking abilities when they reach the middle adolescence stage. In this case, they become self-dependent, lay emphasis on gender related issues and prefer to be independent from their parents. In the case of late adolescence, most adolescents prepare themselves for adult roles.

They focus on personal identity and independence from their parents. However, when adolescents start using drugs at this stage, they lose the dream of becoming independent people. Therefore, it is important for counselors to consider these stages to help them address the issue of substance abuse among adolescents.

Stages of substance use

There are several stages that describe issues related to substance abuse among adolescents. These stages include experimental stage, habitual stage, instrumental stage, social stage, compulsive stage and instrumental stage. The experimental stage is characterized by curiosity. In this stage, adolescents use drugs for adventure purposes and on an irregular basis.

In the social stage, teenagers use drugs to help them achieve social acceptance from their peers. Therefore, the pattern of drug use among adolescents depends on the influence of peer groups. However, when an adolescent shifts to the instrumental stage, he uses drugs to manipulate his emotions (Chapman & Rokutani, 2010).

In this stage, it is true that an adolescent uses drugs to help him cope with emotional problems. Therefore, it is important for counselors to understand the motive behind substance abuse among adolescents in order to help them formulate appropriate intervention mechanisms.

In the habitual stage, most adolescents take drugs to help them modify their moods. An adolescent is regarded as a habitual drug user when he starts focusing his attention on how to obtain drugs. However, after using drugs, a habitual drug user becomes irritated, depressed and restless.

Moreover, the performance of habitual drug users in schools and workplaces starts deteriorating. However, in the compulsive stage, most adolescents are usually addicted to drugs. As a result, they are unable to control their behaviors thus making them to develop overreliance on drug usage.

Impact of drug abuse

Most adolescents are influenced by their peers to start using drugs. As a result, counselors should apply different forms of interventions on peers in order to be effective in regulating substance abuse among young people.

When the patterns of drug abuse by peers are monitored, families and educational systems are able to intervene. In case adolescents are in the late stage of drug use, counselors should lay emphasis on the social, identity and learning outcomes of drug use. These would help them to plan for better intervention and treatment mechanisms.

Social outcome

An adolescent starts using drugs on a habitual basis when he identifies himself with a subculture that comprises of people who devote their lives to drug use. An adolescent becomes self-centered when he joins a subculture that is associated with drug use.

An adolescent also develops relationships with other people in the subculture thus making him to engage in inappropriate and antisocial behaviors. When an adolescent is identified with a subculture, his peers distance themselves from him thereby lowering his self-esteem and identity (Chapman & Rokutani, 2010).

Identity

Learning outcome

Substance abuse deteriorates an adolescent’s ability to concentrate and learn new concepts (Chapman & Rokutani, 2010). However, the major challenges that adolescents face include ineffective problem solving skills and inability to develop effective reasoning skills. Moreover, the abilities of an adolescent become limited when he develops overreliance on drugs.

For example, most adolescents use drugs to help them cope with challenges that affect their wellbeing. Therefore, they believe that drug usage can help them to relief their emotional disturbances. As a result, they shift to drugs whenever they face challenges in their daily activities.

Strengths

The paper is well written because it explains the adolescents’ development process in a clear manner. Moreover, it illustrates how drug abuse impacts on the development process of adolescents.

In this case, it provides information about how adolescents are influenced to start using drugs by their peers. In this perspective therefore, parents, teachers and guardians should learn about adolescents’ development process clearly so that they can be able to prevent young people from taking drugs.

Weaknesses

However, the paper quality is also poorly written because it does not provide adolescents with effective ways of coping with their development process. Moreover, it does not indicate the harmful effects of drug abuse and how adolescents can stop using drugs.

Moreover, it does not offer young people with ways of spending their leisure time in an appropriate manner. Therefore, it is true that the paper does not provide adolescents with effective ways of coping with the challenges that are associated with their development process and drug abuse problems.

Suggestions

In order for the quality of the paper to be outstanding, it should provide adolescents with effective ways of coping with drug abuse patterns. It also should provide them with alternative ways of using their leisure time in a productive manner. Moreover, it should advise them on how they can cope with their development process so that they do not get discriminated while interacting with their peers.

This would help them to appreciate themselves thereby allowing them to interact with people who would influence their lives in a positive manner.

References

Chapman, C., & Rokutani, L. (2010). Adolescents and Substance Abuse: What Works and Why. Alexandria: American Counseling Association.

Copans, S. A., Kinney, J., & Estroff, T. W. (2001). Adolescent development and substance abuse. Washington DC: American Psychiatric Publishing Inc.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Impact of Drug Abuse on Adolescent Development'. 19 June.

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