Swayne (2015) published a report on the prevalence of abuse and addiction to morphine-based drugs like Percocet, Oxycodone, and Oxytocin in small towns and cities in the United States. Drug abuse among the youth aged twelve to seventeen years is 35 percent more prevalent in small towns than large cities in a country where 1.3 million adolescents are estimated to abuse prescription opioids in 2014. Female adolescents tend to be more prone to drug abuse than their male counterparts in the rural setting.
Additionally, it is ironic that opioids based drugs are less assessable in a rural setting than in urban areas. Furthermore, people in rural areas are more likely to access religion than their counterparts in urban areas, which is expected to discourage drug abuse among youth. Being an adolescent who has been born and raised in a relatively small town, this is a very relevant and interesting problem. A similar case is evident in large cities in large cities in third-world countries like India, where the addiction to hookah, a nicotine-based drug, tends to be at least as toxic as cigarettes (Khandelwal et al., 2017). This Addiction in Adolescence Essay will look into addiction among adolescents and the various ways of preventing the epidemic worldwide.
Addiction is the inability to stop engaging in behavior that, in some cases, involves substance use or chronic dependence. It is a treatable chronic medical condition that involves genetics, chronic interaction among the brain circuits, and life experiences. Addiction is, therefore, a more chronic form of drug abuse that involves inappropriate exposure to drugs. Addiction among the youth begins with the experimental use of drugs. Something tends to have lifelong consequences, such as mental health disorders, other forms of addiction, and underachievement in the academic and professional setting.
Adolescence is a phase of transition from childhood to adulthood, which lasts between ten and twelve years. During this period, they tend to undergo cognitive, physical, mental, and psychosocial development. One of the most abused drugs during this period is alcohol, whereby seventy percent of adolescents in their twelfth grade tend to consume alcohol. This phenomenon often execrates to binge. The media and society often portray this drug as fashionable or at least acceptable (Levy, 2020).
A similar case is evident in tobacco addiction among adolescents whose risk factors involve having smoking parents, peers, role models, low self-esteem, poor problem-solving abilities, and overeating. E-cigarettes, also known as vapes, are battery-powered devices that are often used to deliver tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and tobacco. By the age of sixteen, 4.5 percent of adolescents are addicted to vaping, 14.6 percent to prescription drugs, 5.3 percent to inhalants, and 4.9 percent to cocaine (Levy, 2020).
The effects of substance addiction tend to vary depending on the nature of the substance, whereby cocaine tends to increase the risk of seizures, stroke, and heart attacks. Ecstasy leads to liver and heart damage, while marijuana increases the risk for cognitive impairment and psychosis. Opioids increase the risk of respiratory distress and death by overdose. It is, therefore, necessary for a multifaceted approach to be applied in the prevention of drug abuse.
This would involve asking the adolescents about their views in the social setting, media messages, and the pressure to resist peer pressure. Both the prevention and remedy for addiction require the development of resilience, a process that requires life skills and hard work to cope with life challenges directly. One of the most effective methods involves exposure to spiritual life by the end of the individual’s childhood (Morgan & Blum, 2019). The development of a personal spirituality sense, unlike the enforcement or religious practice by the society, provides the individual with the skills and resilience to deal with life challenges.