Drugs and Alcohol Essay 1: Challenges of American Youths

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Drugs and Alcohol Essay 1: Challenges of American Youths

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Drugs and Alcohol Essay 1: Challenges of American Youths

The American youths face many challenges. One of the main challenges facing them is alcohol and drug abuse. In my town, young American adolescents and young adults are led by social permissiveness, moral decadence and peer pressure into drug abuse and alcoholism. Researchers (Fishburne, Abelson & Cisin, 1980; Singh, 2016) have found out that many youths engage in alcohol and drug abuse due to their parents. They tend to copy what their parents or their guardians are doing in their neighborhoods. Subramaniam et al. (2011) showed that children whose parents use alcohol and other drugs are most likely to copy the vice and portray it in their lives.

Another reason why the youths engage in drugs and alcohol is due to peer pressure. The youths feel that it is cool to use drugs. In order to be accepted into their peer groups, they show their loyalty by doing what the leaders and the rest of the peers do Singh, 2016). As time goes by, drug and alcohol abuse becomes part of their lives making it hard to persuade them otherwise. Fishburne, Abelson and Cisin (1980) showed that well-mannered youths can change drastically by joining their peers in school and in the neighborhood. The evidence is corroborated by the scenes in my town in which youths walk in groups and do things together.

I have personally witnessed the causes and effects of alcohol and drug abuse in my town. One of the effects of drug abuse is absent-mindedness in class. Students who consume drugs and alcohol look absent-minded in class. They may appear physically in class but their minds are far away. The drugs affect their concentration in class and they end up getting low grades and eventually dropping out of school.  Drugs affect the cognitive thinking and proper functionality of the brain. Since the abusers do not think logically, they do not know the effects of consuming them (Subramaniam et al., 2011). The drugs end up becoming the cause and effect of scoring low grades and dropping out of school.

Increased cases of alcohol abuse have led to insecurity in my town. Young boys and girls who resort to misuse drugs group themselves into gangs which terrorize people in the quest for money to finance their addictions. Crime rates have gone high as a direct consequence of drug abuse. At first, the abusers use mild drugs which have fewer effects. As they continue living the bad lifestyles they become bolder and start consuming hard drugs which include injections. It is not uncommon for young adults to be drug addicts.

I recommend a holistic approach in combating alcohol and drug abuse. The whole society and all stakeholders are to blame for the existence, supply and use of alcohol amongst young adults. The society should take a firmer stand on the use of alcohol and drugs. Parents should make sure that they are good role models to their children by behaving the way they expect their children to behave. It is the role of parents and other grownups to teach the children good morals when they are young. Subramaniam et al. (2011) found that children who are taught good morals rarely depart from them even amidst tempting environments.

Secondly, the government should take a firm approach towards drugs and alcohol. Stricter laws and regulations regarding production, supply and consumption of alcohol will go a long way in helping to reduce consumption of alcohol amongst the youths. The government should make use of undercover agents to penetrate and deal with youth gangs which help in recruiting new members into drug abuse and alcoholism. Coming up with alternative activities, employment opportunities and sporting activities for the youth may decrease their interest in drugs and focus their attention elsewhere.

Another way of dealing with the youths’ involvement in alcohol and drug abuse is by cutting their funding. Parents spoil their children with excess pocket money and other types of surplus money. The youths find it lucrative to squander the money on alcohol and other drugs because they have not worked hard for it. If the finding can be stopped, the youth will have to work hard to fund their lifestyles. This will reduce engagement with drugs and make them more productive.

It is clear that drug and alcohol abuse are prevalent among the youths in the United States of America. It is the work of all stakeholders, teachers, parents, government institutions and guardians to provide an enabling environment to stop the vice (Arrazola et al., 2015). In order to stop alcohol and drug misuse among the youths, the youth must be educated on the harmful effects of drug abuse. Access to drugs and bad company are other sure ways of combating the vice.



Arrazola, R. A., Singh, T., Corey, C. G., Husten, C. G., Neff, L. J., Apelberg, B. J., … & McAfee, T. (2015). Tobacco use among middle and high school students-United States, 2011-2014. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report64(14), 381-385.

Fishburne, P. M., Abelson, H. I., & Cisin, I. H. (1980). National survey on drug abuse: Main findings 1979. National Institute on Drug Abuse, Office of Medical and Professional Affairs.

Singh, T. (2016). Tobacco use among middle and high school students—United States, 2011–2015. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report65.

Subramaniam, G. A., Warden, D., Minhajuddin, A., Fishman, M. J., Stitzer, M. L., Adinoff, B., … & Woody, G. E. (2011). Predictors of abstinence: National Institute of Drug Abuse multisite buprenorphine/naloxone treatment trial in opioid-dependent youth. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry50(11), 1120-1128.

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