Multiple studies have been undertaken regarding the issue of drug abuse and its effects on adolescent youths. It is manifest that this is a significant issue affecting the individuals in the society leading to numerous detrimental effects. The studies undertaken have covered the primary reasons why many young people indulge in drug abuse regarding their mental and physical health. The studies also expound on what can be done to ensure that the increasing number of young adults abusing drugs is reduced.
According to many researchers, there are countless reasons why teens use drugs. Some key factors leading to the rising number are peer pressure and the fear of getting left behind by others or getting unpopular at school. According to Dekin (2018), some other young people tend to use drugs to cope with feelings of anxiety, depression, or any other form of mental illness. However, Johnson (2009), states that it is difficult for these teens to understand that the drugs they consume have long-term effects since the intended side effects typically dissipate within a few hours. Many also underestimate the risks of specific activities. They sometimes have a sense of being uniquely invisible. Many fail to understand that the drugs they consume can cause harm.
Some of the significant challenges associated with drug and substance abuse include academic difficulties, health-related problems, poor peer relationships, and involvement with the juvenile justice system. Drug abuse also has effects on the family members, the community, and the society at large (DuPont, Han, Shea, & Madras, 2018). As a teenager grows, he/ she goes through both psychological and biological changes. In addition to the physical changes, the young persons’ brain is developing to work more effectively. Introducing drugs and substances to the brain negatively impacts the brain’s functionality to function in the short term, leading to the prevention of proper growth and development later in life. Drug abuse can also affect the brain. It will create problems with memory, reduce the ability to experience pleasure and interfere with neurotransmitters, and damaging connections within the brain.
According to Tice, Lipari, & Van Horn (2017), drugs also affect the academic performance of adolescent youths adversely. They can lead to declining grades, absenteeism from school, and a teenager’s potential to drop out of school. Research undertaken shows a low level of commitment to education due to drug abuse and could also lead to high truancy rates (Johnson, 2009). This leads to multiple obstacles which prevent the young persons from concentrating well in class or fail to perform well as per the ability. As a result of drug abuse, many young people can get injuries from accidents or acquire drug-related diseases. Dekin (2018), suggest that many young people involved in alcohol and drug abuse face an increased risk of illnesses, accidents, homicides, and even suicide. Drug abuse could also lead to increased cases of depression, withdrawal, and other psychological dysfunctions. Youths abusing drugs are at a high risk of facing mental illness, including suicidal thoughts and other mental challenges.
From the past studies undertaken, it is manifest that there is a need for more awareness campaigns. This is to alert the adolescents more on the need to stop abusing drugs for the sake of their wellbeing. There is also a need for further studies on the matter to determine more sustainable solutions that could help reduce the prevalence rate of youths abusing drugs.