Substance Abuse among Today's Youth

Social Worker Resource
August 16, 2013 — 4,743 views  
Become a Bronze Member for monthly eNewsletter, articles, and white papers.

Substance abuse is one of the biggest problems facing today’s adolescent population and is becoming a matter of great concern. The fact that a lot of the substances that are abused are easy to procure through regular medical stores is also a cause for concern and requires each and every one of us to be more vigilant to help the youth.

What is Substance Abuse?

Substance related disorders can be the result of dependency on a number of over-the-counter medication. Alcoholism has become a grave issue with a number of teenagers becoming increasingly attracted to the consumption of copious amounts of liquor. While the youth of today are enchanted with the ‘easy and quick high’ (a feeling of euphoria that is usually brought on by the substances being abused) they fail to see the long term disastrous effects that these substances will have on their bodies.

There are a number of reasons that the children of today would choose to abuse substances and it is essential that we try to find out the root cause of the problem while dealing with a child that suffers from an addiction.

Merely treating the symptom - the addiction itself - will serve no purpose in the grand scheme of things, and will become a method of refuge for a person who feels abandoned.

How does it Harm?

While substance abuse is substantially harmful, the exact variations will depend on a number of aspects such as the type of substance being abused, the amount of the substance being used, as well as the frequency with which it is consumed. Not to mention, the addicts own biochemistry and the internal medical complications that he or she suffers from. However, there are a number of common medical developments that will occur as a result of the substance abuse such as a feeling of euphoria, a feeling of being in a trance and an out-of-body experience, which are all the result of chemical reactions within the brain. A regular and continuous exposure to these chemical complexities in the brain will eventually cause the brain cells to die leading to reduction in the functionality of the brain. Also, the patient is more likely to experience a number of other symptoms such as mood swings, stomachaches, nausea, and vomiting among many others. The more serious and long-term effects that addictive disorders will cause include liver and kidney failure as well as serious complications and loss of ability of other organs to perform.

Protection from Addiction

Prevention of substance-related disorders primarily revolves around being vigilant. Because a number of the substances abused are easily available at local drug stores and pharmacies means they are not hard to procure. However, in most cases, the addicts will usually be able to get some of the medication through friends. Most substance abusers will show a number of symptoms such as red eyes, the desire to purchase medications commonly used in the treatment of regular medical conditions without showing any of the symptoms of the same, as well as simply showing a drop in levels of interest during classes as compared to their previous levels of interest.

All in all, it is the responsibility of every adult to make it a point to discourage substance abuse as well as help any addicts break the habit.

Social Worker Resource