Adolescence is a critical period in human development. It is the period during which individuals undergo biological, psychological and social transformations, as they become adults. These transformations occur simultaneously and without conscious awareness by youth going through these changes. Any transformation an adolescent goes through may have an impact on the introduction and progression of teenage substance use. Substance abuse is drug abuse. Most substance abusers globally are the adolescents. This is because their developmental stage is vulnerable to anything.
The brain development of an adolescent is not fully developed. A teenager may physically resemble an adult but still lack the brain maturation to think like one. To expect adolescents to make adult like decisions in regard to substance use is an unlikely expectation for most teenagers. Adolescence is defined as those behavioral changes that take place between childhood and maturity or adulthood. It is the changing period from childhood to adulthood. Adolescence is viewed as a time where biological, psychological and social transitions take place.
It is the most critical stage of human development. During adolescence, different behavior patterns become more frequent (Cobb, 2006). These behavioral trends include risk- taking behaviors, conflicts between the adolescence peers and parents and greater social development. Every individual adapts to their behavior depending on how they were brought up, their social interactions and adult influences. The physical development of adolescence is known as puberty. It is the stage a person is able to reproduce (Cobb, 2006). Adolescence Physical development is all about the body changes.
It involves genital growth, changes in body odor. Voice changes, growth of pubic hair, breast development and menstruation in female. The psychosocial development of adolescence is complicated. It involves hormones, love interests and intellectual pursuits. All this complicates adolescence development. In this development, stress, depression, lack of sleep, and anxiety are common among teenagers (Johnston et al, 2006). It is during this psychosocial development that adolescent teenagers are at risk of bad behavior. This development mostly involves
intellectual pursuits and social interactions. Adolescents’ brains are usually not fully developed. This plays a major role in immature emotional and cognitive development. It is during adolescence that teenagers adapt easily to different behaviors. How bad and well the behavior is depended on how an individual was brought up and the social interactions. Many risky behaviors such as substance abuse start at the adolescent stage of human development. Adolescence is also a time when young individuals take risks that can have a long time effects on their health and well being.
Substance abuse is the misuse of drugs. Most adolescents are prone to drugs and substance abuse. This is because the adolescent brains are not fully developed, and this plays a role in the decisions they make. Immature brain sections may place teenagers at prominent risk to the effects of drugs. Misuse of drugs or substance abuse is mostly associated with the adolescents. Globally, it is estimated through research that five billion people who abuse or use substances are the adolescent (Johnston et al, 2006). Adolescence is a period of significant personal development.
It is in this adolescent stage that teenagers are let to make their own decisions. They choose their friends and how they want to live their life. It is during this stage that they can adapt easily to certain behaviors due to influences. It is said that adolescence is the time of testing and novelty seeking. Curiosity on drugs is one way that makes young people abuse substances. Millions of young people try an illicit drug at least once during their adolescent years. The most common substance abuse among adolescents is alcohol and tobacco. Most of the teenagers will have tried either of the two or both.
It is estimated that twelve years is the average age of children to take their first alcoholic drink. Nearly 20 percent of twelve to twenty year old is considered to be binge drinkers (Cobb, 2006). Tobacco smoking is also prone to adolescents. Most smokers globally start at their teenage years hence become addicted. It is said that teens are more vulnerable to addiction and receptive to nicotine than are those who start to smoke as adults. Causes of adolescence substance use vary. Peer selection processes, peer influences and cognitive biases play a major role in adolescents substance use.
Parental influences also play a role in adolescence substance use. How the adolescent is raised and how the parents behave with them is important to their development. The parent teenage relationship plays major roles in adolescent substance use. Substance abuse has its effects to an individual. Adolescents who use substances frequently are at risk for healthy problems. Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs have certain effects that can cause mental and heath problems. Substance abuse adolescents are at a high risk for various issues that may disrupt with their development.
The physical, psychological and social effects of adolescent substance or drug abuse can have lasting consequences for the individual. This may interfere with a successful transition from adolescence to adulthood. On-going adolescent substance abuse can make an individual be at a greater risk for addiction in adulthood (Cobb, 2006). The physical consequences of adolescent substance abuse affect an individual physical development. Physical injuries and illnesses occur as a result of drug related accidents and overdoses. The psychological consequences of adolescent substance abuse affect an individual psychological development.
Psychological development is all about the brain. The Misuse and overdose of substances leads to mental health problems. Alcohol is one substance that affects an individual psychological development (Cobb, 2006). Tobacco misuse can lead to illnesses such as lung cancer. Other problems may also arise due to tobacco smoking. These illnesses caused by substance abuse can also lead to death. Prolonged substance abuse can cause depression an anxiety, which can disrupt an adolescent ability to function and develop in a productive manner. There are also social consequences due to adolescent substance abuse.
Adolescents who frequently abuse substances are more likely to have issues with their social development. Most of them tend to isolate themselves from family and friends. They are also more likely to have troubles with the law and law enforcers. Due to this, the adolescent substance abuser can bring problems within the family. Adolescence is a critical stage. Parents, teachers and any other adult should be role models for healthy behaviors. This is because adolescents adapt certain behavior from their peers and adults. Substance abuse affects adolescents mostly, and this can be avoided if the child to adolescent development is proper.
Substance abuse causes major risks to adolescence development. Due to this, it is important for adolescents to be taught good behavior and be corrected when they wrong. Parents, teachers or other adults are people who should play major roles in teenagers’ life. They are a great influence in adolescents hence should be well role models. References Cobb, N. (2006). Adolescence. New York: McGraw-Hill. Johnston, L. D. , O’Malley, P. M. , & Bachman, J. G. (2006). Monitoring the Future National Survey Results on Drug Use. New York: National Institute on Drug Abuse.
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Topic: Adoloscence and substance abuse
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