Prevalence and Interventions in Juvenile Substance Abuse

Topics: Addiction, Drug addiction, Abuse Pages: 6 (2278 words) Published: June 6, 2013
Prevalence and Interventions in Juvenile Substance Abuse

Prevalence and Interventions in Juvenile Substance Abuse

Why is substance abuse on the rise? According to Markowitz, Francis, and Gonzales-Nolas, “Substance abuse is a common and serious problem in the United States.” Substance abuse is a serious problem in society today. There are many factors on why Juveniles carry out this act. Before committing these juvenile acts, these children grow up in a home that is not suitable for young children. Their environment and living conditions make it hard for them to stay out of criminal activities. Most juveniles go through a traumatic experience in their childhood years. Juveniles abusing substance is a rising concern in the world today. Being aware and using intervention measures could decrease substance abuse.

Most juveniles come from low income homes in low income neighborhoods. Does living conditions affect and lead the child to juvenile acts? According to Demuth and Brown, “Children from broken homes are more delinquent than those from intact families.” Imagine a child barely having anything to eat each day, and not having a father or a mother to take care of them throughout the day. With no supervision, and brains not fully developed, they will perform their own actions without parental guidance. According to Voisin, Neilands, Salazar, Crosby, and DiClemente, “Youths who are exposed to high rates of violence within their communities are at greater risk of engaging in illicit drug use.” Being in an area where all that matters is “street cred” these delinquents join gangs and commit illegal acts. Being in a gang usually leads to substance abuse which also leads to addiction.

Most of the time juveniles grow up with no father. Having no father or father figure in the household, it can be devastating to the whole family. With only having the mother support the family, she has to have a fulltime job. With this full time job, the mother would not be with her kids for most of the day. Usually, the father is the one working the most and bringing money into the household. With no father, the responsibility of the father figure goes to the mother. However being busy, the mother has no time to fill in that role. According to Breivik, Olweus, and Endresen, “Children residing with a single mother are at increased risk of developing both antisocial behavior and substance.” The mother is usually the one monitoring and supervising the children. They also have a more intimate relationship with the mother. Single fathers usually have a hard time monitoring the children. Single fathers usually have more problems supervising the children. The children are naturally less intimate with the father. In households with only a single father, the situation is bound to get worse. With no structure in the household or supervision, delinquency goes on the rise. Having two parents looking over a child is the best way to prevent delinquency. Domestic violence can also affect the child and may lead to substance abuse. Trauma is big factor in juveniles. According to Kerig, Ward, Vanderzee, and Arnzen, “Over 90% of delinquent youth have experienced a traumatically stressful life event and the typical delinquent has experienced an average of 14 distinct traumas in his or her lifetime.” Trauma is basically extreme stress that is too much for the person to cope with. Trauma can lead to other types of criminal acts. Trauma can be caused from physical abuse, sexual abuse, accidents, domestic violence and many more. Depending on the severity event, the trauma could become worse. For example, if the perpetrator is a close friend and he/she is trusted, the effect of trauma could be worse. However it all depends on the person. If a person is already stressed, the effect of the trauma can be even worse. These children not only receive physical abuse, but verbal abuse as well. They are put down by their parents and their...

Cited: Breivik, K., Olweus, D., & Endresen, I. (2009). Does the quality of parent-child relationships
Mediate the increased risk for antisocial behavior and substance use among adolescents in single-mother and single-father families? Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 50(6), 400-426.
Demuth, S., & Brown, S.L. (2004). Family structure, family processes, and adolescent
delinquency: The significance of parental absence versus parental gender. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 41(1), 58-81.
Kerig, P. K., Ward, R. M., Vanderzee, K. L., & Arnzen Moeddel, M. (2009). Posttraumatic stress
as a mediator of the relationship between trauma and mental health problems among juvenile delinquents. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 38(9), 1214-1225.
Markowitz, J. D., Francis, E. M., & Gonzales-Nolas, C. (2010). Managing Acute and Chronic
Pain in a Substance Abuse Treatment Program for the Addicted Individual Early in Recovery: A Current Controversy. Journal Of Psychoactive Drugs, 42(2), 193-198.
Voisin, D. R., Neilands, T. B., Salazar, L. F., Crosby, R., & DiClemente, R. J. (2008). Pathways
to Drug and Sexual Risk Behaviors among Detained Adolescents. Social Work Research, 32(3), 147-157
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