When I was first selecting a topic for this paper, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about. I wanted to write about something that I could relate to or had some passion about. As I read over the topic suggestions in our syllabus, I saw drug rehabilitation and instantly knew that was I wanted to research. My oldest cousin developed a drug problem when he was in high school. It started with him smoking marijuana then evolved into heroin use when he was in his early 20s. Later, he was arrested and during his time in prison, he went through drug rehabilitation, then after serving his sentence he was released from prison. After several years of being clean, he relapsed and overdosed. Since his passing, I have wanted to learn more about drug rehabilitation, hoping I could better understand it and learn if there was something more I could have done to help him. In this paper, I will analyze how and why drug abuse starts in teens, how their drug abuse is rehabilitated and ultimately what are the results of the rehabilitation.
When discussing anything that has to do with teens, it’s important to remember that adolescence is time of change. Teens are going through puberty and their relationships with their peers become more important. This time of change along with pressure from peers lead to teens trying new things including experimenting with drugs and alcohol. “Young people between the ages of 15 and 19 years old comprise the largest group of new drinkers in the United States, and almost 50% of adolescents who use marijuana say they first used it when they were 13 years old or younger” (Gordon, 2003). Gordon (2003) also says “most adolescents who experiment with drugs and alcohol do not become addicted. They generally begin with occasional experimentation with alcohol and tobacco, progressing to use of these drugs whenever they are easily available. Those who move onward to abuse and addiction do not stop with occasional use. They begin to use marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol on a regular basis, and will seek the drugs even when they are not easily available. These teens do not stop use even when they begin to suffer negative consequences.” The only way to understand teen abuse is figure out why some teens never experiment and others stop experimenting with drugs before it becomes a problem, and why some teens continue experimentation that leads problem behavior. According to Gordon, major factors that lead to drug abuse include psychological problems, negative influence from family members, and the lack of a strong parental presence in adolescences lives (2003). Gordon found that the majority of teens referred for drug and alcohol treatment have significant psychological problems. An example Gordon cites is that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD affects 3 to 5 percent of the general population but in rehab centers, the percentages jumps anywhere from 30 to 50 percent of patients. Also, rates of eating disorders are much higher among addict adolescents (2003). Parents play a critical in affecting a teen’s attitude about drugs. “To instill healthy attitudes towards drugs and alcohol, parents must be armed with their own healthy behaviors, beliefs and knowledge (Gordon, 2003). Teens will model the behavior they see their parents doing. However, many drug users also lack a strong parental presence in their lives. “Research studies have found that adolescents who do not find a parents at home after school are more likely to smoke tobacco regularly, drink and get drunk regularly, and use marijuana regularly than teens who are better supervised (Gordon, 2003). Its easy to that teens are more susceptible to drug abuse because they in a time of their lives where they are trying to discover who they are and willing to try new things. This combined with negative examples from parents or no parents at put teens at risk of becoming addicts. Once teens become addicts, how are they rehabilitated and is rehabilitation...
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