The Drug Dilemma Amongst Adolescents Essay, Research Paper
“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Feldman 184) Adolescents in the eyes of our 90’s society today have changed greatly from the past. Parents no longer can control the way their child grows up or behaves when not in their line of sight. A child can be taught well by their parents, but out on the streets there is peer pressure. An adolescent’s main goal these days is to fit in and not be different from their peers. Some adolescents get into drugs and others have an inner will to say no. Addiction is the disease that eventually starts to plague these adolescents that decide to take the wrong path. Many people ask why do kids these days get affected by addiction? Addiction can lurk up on anyone putting aside race, age, or gender because this disease does not care. Eventually misfortunes with the law or even death occur. There is no substitute. I am not saying that sometimes addiction only plagues those adolescents who choose the wrong path. There are many other possibilities, such as problems within a family causing a child to choose a downhill path. What I am saying though, is that I had a first hand experience getting arrested because I followed peer pressure. I wish I never would of said yes and tried to fit in, but instead said no and never had any obstacles with the law. Addiction is in the subconscious mind of every person, but only some people decide to bring it into their conscience mind. America is the only country in the world with a large and growing number of adolescents addicts. “The reason is that adolescents-by the nature of the beast-fight authority.” Throughout the world, adolescents are like a sensitive minority group just waiting to be misunderstood and attacked. Traditionally, adolescent criticism of the adult world has been acted out in student riots and radical political activities, but in this country today their target is the puritanism that is still part of our heritage; for some adolescents, addiction becomes the most tempting and the most easily rationalized of all revolts. Revolt is not always the way into drugs. Some young people start using drug as steps towards social acceptability, other than as a protest against parental authority. In our metropolitan environment it is almost impossible not to encounter drug use and be subjected to the pressures of one’s peers. Those who are able to withstand these pressures have either a very strong sense of will power or an extremely good argument on why not to use drugs. As a final thought drug use in many cases represents only a temporary experiment, part of a process of growing up and learning for one’s self. If a parent is able to show an understanding of this phenomenon, it can quickly pass. Of course, not all use is experimental. This is when addiction takes its role and for these adolescents help is needed. Help is very hard to give until the law gets involved, but prior to any law intervention it is very difficult to treat adolescents. (Seymour 126) (Cohen 116, 117) (Schur 199) Adolescents are not aware of the consequences of drugs and have a hard time listening to their superiors, since they think raves are safe until someone dies or they are confronted by the law. These parties or so called “raves” are all night extravaganzas in which drugs and alcohol flourish. Raves take place in warehouses, outdoor recreation areas or any place where more than 1,000 young people can gather. At raves the music being played are a composition of electronic sounds driven into shape by a DJ. Teenagers love parties because there are no parents and law enforcement is not usually present. Adolescents just see it as “fun” and do not understand that they are on a road to nowhere. Drugs are fun and a way to pass time some people say, but in all reality they lead to unhappiness. I went down this path for two years of my high school life and as I will later express I have so many regrets. The law eventually gets involved because as an adolescent you have a young mind and eventually start to do what you do at these raves on the street. The consequences for so many end in death and most of all with arrests. Sometimes an adolescent sees the light and stops what he or she is doing. Raves only promote a place to do drugs freely, and an environment where there are no fights. In reality what they do not promote is that after one is hooked on raves an adolescent’s life starts to revolve around doing drugs. The adolescent is not usually conscious of his behavior once drugs take over. Eventually this behavior becomes a way of every day life and causes in most cases a lot of pain for the adolescent. This is where the disease of addiction takes an adolescent’s body over and controls it until someone helps him or her. The sad part is that most of the time help is given forcefully by the law or even by death. (New York Times, 1997) (Fort 209-215) Eventually after all the consequences occur treatment and rehabilitation is needed if death did not already occur. A major goal in our society today is to help our youth prosper without the use of drugs. There are many public and private treatment centers to help reduce the number of addicts in our nation. One of the best treatment centers in New Jersey at the time is the Carrier Centers for Counseling. The Carrier Center for Counseling is based upon a twelve step program. This twelve step program was created by two individuals who realized back in 1975 that our nation had many drug problems and people had nowhere to go for help. These two individuals started a group called Narcotics Anonymous and it was based on twelve steps. People now in some areas had a place they could go and talk about there problems. Narcotics Anonymous was very small back in 1975, but today it is around the world and in every state of America. Today many treatment centers have adapted to the twelve steps of Narcotics Anonymous and began outpatient treatment programs to help those who are willing to accept the help. The Carrier Center for Counseling is based on these twelve step broken down into three phases. The first phase is six weeks long and people concentrate on accepting a higher power and admitting that they are addicts. In these first six weeks people are given the opportunity to give their life story and hear other people tell their stories. Also in this phase the patient begins to learn about the twelve steps. Once the first phase is completed the patient graduates to the second phase. In the second phase the patient has already accepted a higher power and knows he or she is an addict. People start to attend meetings, such as Narcotics Anonymous meetings and start to change their lives around. People are encouraged not to hang out with people who use to lessen the chance of relapse. They are asked to change people, places, and things in order to make there recovery easier. In this phase the patient starts to work the twelve steps and is starting to establish a recovery. Eventually the second phase ends and the patients graduates to the third phase. By the third phase the patient is working the twelve steps of Narcotics Anonymous actively and is well established in their recovery. This phase is twelve weeks long and once this is over the patient graduates from the program. The patient usually keeps going to Narcotics Anonymous meetings and want recovery. The program works if you work it and most people do, but their are the few who are just doing it because they are court mandated and still do not want recovery. This is just one example of how programs work, but there are many different one’s out there. I am in the Carrier Center for Counseling and currently in the second phase hoping that eventually I will be able to lead a sober and prosperous life. (Carrier Center for Counseling) (Hubbard 43)
The suffering and pain that parents go through with there adolescents these days is very upsetting. Most parents want the best for their child and nothing less. Adolescents only want to have fun and go to parties or raves. They get addicted to drugs and start to revolve their lives around drugs. Some get arrested and others encounter death. Addiction is so powerful that it takes control of people’s brains and only tells them to do wrong. My parent are loving and have helped me all the way. I see my mother cry sometimes and I know that every tear that rolls down her face is filled with hope. My parent involve themselves in my rehab and by the luck of the draw they had money to keep me out of jail. Some adolescents do not appreciated what they have and others do not know how to express how thankful they really are for having loving parents. There are also those parents who love there kids, but give up. My parents to this day have not given up and I know they will always be there for me. Adolescents need to be educated better and shown hard facts. For instance, someone there age that they can relate with and understand that drugs lead a person to misery. Adolescents need to hear stories and be able relate themselves. All these commercials and adults talking in schools does not help our society. Kids do not listen and still do what they want not realizing the consequences. Overall our society has been plagued by drugs and little by little kids are realizing that the fun does not amount to the suffering in the end. “Our youth today love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority, disrespect for older people. Children nowadays are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food and tyrannize their teachers.” -Socrates, circa 425 B.C. BibliographyCohen, Sidney. The Drug Dilemma. New York, NY: McGraw Hill Book Company, 1969.Feldman, Phillip. The Psychology of Crime. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1993.Fort, Joel. The Pleasure Seekers. New York, NY: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1969.Hubbard, Robert L. Drug Abuse Treatment, A National Study of Effectiveness. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 1989.Milkman, Harvey B., and Shaffer Howard J. Addictions: Multidisciplinary Perspectives and Treatments. Washington, D.C.: Lexington Books D.C. Health and Company, 1989.Schur, Edwin M. Narcotic Addiction in Britain and America. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1968.Seymour, Whitney N. The Young Die Quietly. New York, NY: William Morrow and Company Press, 1972.