In this paper, I will discuss how research into the topic for information on how Drug/Alcohol Abuse/Addiction would effect a person’s development during the late adolescence, stage of psychosocial development. I will draw my inferences from recent scholarly articles from the internet.
Keywords: late adolescents, drugs, substance abuse, psychosocial development
Growing up as a late adolescent come with a mirade of problems, and continued growth and development always depends majorly on the environment in which these children grow up. The environment plays a big role in almost all aspects of development for instance, it will determine the way an adolescent will tend to carry themselves out, their self esteem, and the core beliefs in which they hold dear (Lambert, McLeod & Schenk, 2006).
A recent study shows that the environmental factors play a big role in determining whether a person in his late adolescent will drink alcohol or will resort to substance abuse. Most of the key environmental factors include if there is an alcoholic parent, availability, poverty, lack of enforcement by the government is one of the major causes of substance abuse. Because it is what leads to social access and availability in stores without licenses The social norms also has increased the chances of drugs use among late adolescents these causes a major problem in their development.
Positive and negative resolution aspect of the crisis takes place where some of the adolescents expect some out come when taking drugs, some positive others negatives, the ones who expect a positive effect will always use drugs the ones who expect negative effects tend not to abuse drugs (Tarter, 2012). In this paradigm of thought, for those who experienced positive effects of the drugs are most likely to continue its usage , while those who experienced negative effects like nausea were the ones who discontinued its use (Crome & Bloor, 2005). On the flip side, positive effects do not affect much the need to abuse drugs, it is the negative effects of the withdrawal syndrome that most likely causes the adolescents to misuse drugs.
The central process aspect of the psychosociological crisis occurs where the adolescents after several sessions of abusing the drugs they become tolerant, and this is what is central to drug addiction. This kind of dependency make the person want more of the drugs and this causes a crisis, because the brain craves more of the drug. Therefore if the brain gets accustomed to the drug (Crome & Bloor, 2005).
The prime adaptive ego quality of the psychosociological crisis occurs where the adolescent during the development period experiences an identity crisis because of his developing sense of identity. This is where; if his social group abuse drugs there is a greater chance that he will also use drugs. Some groups also get into initiating habits where the initiation involves some kind of drug uses most common being alcohol, cocaine, and marijuana. This leads to a pattern of abusing drugs which mostly ends up in some kind of addiction.
In core pathology , here there is a sense of disconnect, which causes withdrawal from others, and kills the ability to experience communal bonds and commitments to others this usually end s up in antisocial behaviors, and it is what causes psychopathy. The adolescents who experience this suffer from loneliness which causes them to resort to drug abuse as a place to get rid of their stresses leading to drug abuse or misuse (Strasburger, 2010).
History of substance abuse in the family is also one of the environmental factors which tend to lead to early exposure to alcohol or drugs, affecting the development of adolescents. Economic issues such as poverty may cause some strain on the adolescents leading to abuse of drugs as an outlet to all the pent up energy.
Cultural issues, such as a drinking tradition may be the initiation of an adolescent into the world of alcoholism. The sorority and the fraternities in campuses are the major cause of such addiction. This maybe started, as a need to belong develops and then ultimately one drink leads to another until the adolescent starts developing some kind of dependency.
The factors likely to encourage optimal development in this stage include finding good mentors for the adolescents who live in high risk areas or those who are at higher risk to abusing drugs and alcohol. These includes the ones who grew up in an environment of drug abuse, those who live in abject, poverty, and those raised by single parents among others. This will go along way to ensure that they have a good figure to look up to preventing the susceptibility to abuse drugs (Schulenberg & Maggs, 2008). Secondly there should be good parenting to help build the self esteem of these late adolescents, this is because there is a significant connection between drug abuse and abusive childhood. This is because when a child is subjected to abuse of any kind, he is most likely to develop esteem issues which as we have seen is a major cause of drug abuse.
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Thirdly there should be peer educators who teach their counterparts on the benefits of not using drugs and those who provide the adolescents with a place to belong. This will keep them busy keeping them away from abusing drugs. The educators also discourage drug abuse by providing various group activities for adolescents to engage in (Lambert, McLeod & Schenk, 2006).
The community resources that should be instituted include, schools which should be mandatory for all adolescents to go. Also, they should be taught in the syllabuses the negative effects of drugs abuse. Their families also should take the mandate to teach their children the dangers of using drugs, and also ensure that drugs are not easily accessed by the the adolescents at home. There should be law enforcement on the laws against drug abuse, the Civic associations should take it upon them to have a campaign geared against drugs, the Government and Local youth organizations should provide support groups, and Local businesses should also desist from selling alcohol to young people. If this is done there will be healthy development of late adolescents to young adults (Tarter, 2012).
The knowledge gained from this assignment will go a long way in helping me deal with the issue of drug abuse which is a matter of public concern among young people who are in their late adolescent. It gives an informed view into this topic, the causes, and the ways in which to prevent drug abuse. For late adolescents , many factors can be put in place to curb the spread of drug abuse including support programmes and counselling in colleges and universities. Also, as a sociologist I needed an indepth analysis of this topic.
Studies shows that most families in the US struggle with teen alcohol and other drug use and over the counter drug misuse. Although some of the drugs are illegal or have age limits, people or the alienated group still find easy access to those drugs, leading to the widespread use of the drug. Drugs and alcohol used by late adolescents, during their young adult years often leads to future problems for the young adults and their families. So to help alleviate the effects of drugs abuse in the community it is very imperative that there should be Prevention programs for teenagers to deter them from using the drugs in the first place. Also support groups and programmes can also help the ones who are interested in rehabilitation. If this is done the problem can be arrested (Strasburger, 2010).
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The topic of drug abuse have been of interest to me because of the impact it is having on our community as a whole (Schulenberg & Maggs, 2008). The fact that illegal drugs are easily available for adolescents to use is a major issue of concern to the society which will have to later deal with the problems associated with it such as depression, poverty, dependency to the drugs and in server cases it also leads to death, robbing off the society of able young people who the country count on for development. I opine that something needs to be done because it is a problem that passes from one community to another, and from generation to generation with no end.