Free Teenage Drug Abuse Essay Sample
Among the major issues that affect teenagers while growing up are drugs and crime. Teenagers take drugs for various reasons including falling under the influence of their friends, as a means of getting pleasure and evading dysfunctional homes among others. Whatever the reason for drug abuse is, the result is usually the same: developing an addiction to drugs they are taking. As a result, these teenagers start committing crimes so as to get money to sustain their habit. Additionally, another issue affecting teenagers is crime.
Teenagers who join gangs are more violent and start taking drugs more often as compared to those who do not. These two issues, drugs and crime, have much in common: they lead to deterioration of behavior of these social groups. Teenagers take drugs or even join gangs for various reasons, each of which leads to the development of deviant trajectories. This paper compares the views on teen drug abuse expressed in the articles Juvenile Drug Use and Delinquency: Youths’ Accounts of Their Trajectories and Youth Gangs, Delinquency and Drug Use: A Test of the Selection, Facilitation, and Enhancement Hypotheses.
In the first article by Brunelle, Cousineau, and Brochu, the authors focus on the teenagers’ delinquency and their drug abuse. The objectives of the article included establishing the reasons why teenagers start drug consumption, substance abuse, and, eventually, develop the drug addiction problem. The authors also discuss the motives of drug abuse, and how they change along its course; how the teenagers assess their drug abuse and the evolution of their motivations along with the drug consumption trajectory. Finally, the authors discuss the real urges that drive drug abuse in the mentioned group. According to the article, a study conducted in 2002 showed that about 71% of students in high school took alcohol in 2001. The researchers add that the number of drug users in Canada is constantly growing. However, drug use is seen to be higher among adult and teenage inmates as compared to the rest of the population. The authors then continue to explore how drug use is connected to deviant trajectories. In this study, the authors aimed at achieving the following: to get the youths’ interpretation of how their violent behavior was the result of their drug problem; to understand the teenagers’ points of view regarding their deviant behavior; and, lastly, to show the various types of changes that these teenagers made to their lives. In the research, it was noted that drug use among juveniles is associated with the five stages of drug consumption trajectory. The first one is the occurrence stage in which drugs are only taken occasionally. The next is the deviant investment stage which involves a more persistent drug use but not necessarily means developing a dependence on drugs. The third stage, named sequential deviance stage, involves regular, and, at times, heavy drug use leading to various levels of crime. It is followed by the compulsion stage in which users become addicted to drugs. Lastly, total or temporary rehabilitation stage is the time when adolescents diminish or stop taking drugs.
In the second article by Gatti, Tremblay, Vitaro, and McDuff, the authors study how committing crimes is related to drug abuse and membership in gangs. The aim is to test the hypothesis that teenagers who join gangs are more inclined to criminal conduct compared to other teenagers who are not gang affiliates. From the research, it is clear that in the U.S., gang members display higher rates of criminal activity and drug abuse in comparison with those who are not in gangs. In regards to drug abuse and violent behavior prevalence, teenagers participating in gangs proved to be violent and frequent drug abusers. The results of the study supported the facilitation hypothesis for impermanent gang members, and the enhancement hypothesis for permanent gang members, both for person and property offenses. Further analysis of the link between gang members and delinquency proved that being in a specific gang has negative effects that are more than those brought by only having friends who committed crimes. The authors reach a conclusion that by restricting entry to gangs, teenage antisocial behavior can be drastically reduced.
From both articles, comparisons and contradictions can be brought forward. The similarity between the two articles is the fact that they both bring to light the antisocial behaviors and drug consumption that are affecting teenagers today. Following Brunelle et al., one of the major issues concerning teenagers is that of drug use and delinquency. From the article, it is evident that teenagers who continue to use drugs are more likely to develop a deviant behavioral trajectory. Since their legal income cannot be enough for them to purchase drugs they want, these teenagers turn to delinquent behavior to get more money. The other authors like Gatti et al., focus on how gangs lead to more teenagers committing crimes. They prove that teenagers in gangs commit more crimes than those who are not in gangs. Gang members display a higher rate of violence and drug abuse than the teens who do not join gangs. Consequently, drug abuse and delinquency are associated with gangs. However, despite the similarity, a contradiction also exists between these articles. Brunelle et al. say that drug use can occur due to various reasons including seeking new means of pleasure, escaping dysfunctional homes, or testing how drugs feel like. This contradicts Gatti et al., who state that drug use and delinquency are largely associated with gangs and their members, unlike the youths who are not in gangs.
While comparing the two articles, the one that seems more factual, comprehensible, and better organized is Juvenile Drug Use and Delinquency: Youths’ Accounts of Their Trajectories. This article divides the process of teen drug abuse into five stages. In each stage, the authors describe how youths move from little drug use to severe addiction. The article fully describes the motivation given by the teens including reasons such as “just to get high”, or even wanting to fit in with friends. This article fully describes the occurrences of drug use by teenagers in most parts of the world. What starts as a tryout develops into serious addiction. Therefore, parents should always be highly attentive to observe changes in their children and prevent them from drug abuse.
In conclusion, the drug use and delinquency issues that affect teenagers are closely related. Gangs are also associated with deviant behavior and substance abuse. Various teenagers have different motives for starting drug use and for curbing this behavior. These social issues negatively affect any community. It should be noted that it does not necessarily mean that teenagers always wish to act in a violent way, but they might be sometimes pushed to do so by circumstances. Therefore, parents should be involved in their children’s lives to be able to note when these deviant trajectories arise. By doing this, the parents will be able to understand the teenagers’ behavior correctly and take necessary steps to help their children.