The Impact of Substance Abuse and Sex on Young Adults
You see the guy covered in filth rambling nonsense to nobody while digging through trash in an alley. The two men with facial piercings and tight leather clothes walking down the street holding hands. The prostitute on the corner with scraggily hair and a limp cigarette hanging from her lips, and you ask yourself, “ What is their story?” You think that those men holding hands are gay and must have HIV or AIDS, that guy digging in the trashcan must be a heroin junky, and that lady on the corner must have many STI’s because she sells her body for money or drugs. But it is not so simple to just judge a book by its cover in today’s world. Heroin addicts and STI’s are not just a stereotype or scene out of a movie; they are real and happening right here in our high schools and colleges. It seems like drugs and sex epicenter from high schools and colleges, where young adults are still trying to figure them selves out as well as fit in to society. Hardcore drugs and substance abuse are hitting the school scene and are impacting younger generations in which will affect them for the rest of their lives. Heavy drugs like Heroin are posing a huge risk for young adults because they are using the drug and practicing unsafe sex along with it. The combination of substance abuse and unsafe sex is sending pregnancies, STI’s, and HIV/AIDS infections at an all time high with in young adults between the ages of 15-24. There is a correlation with substance abuse and sexual behavior in the youth because it is showing an increase in sexual behavior at an earlier age, increase in multiple sex partners, increase in risk for unsafe sex, increase risk for contracting a STI’s that are curable and incurable, and an increase in HIV testing and infection. The correlation of drug and substance abuse in teens has shown an increase in sexual behavior at an earlier age. Younger generations are becoming more susceptible to engaging in sexual behaviors at an earlier age if they are using drugs. Just as the times have changed, so has the class of drugs. Harder drugs are entering the school scene more often and at earlier ages. A few main drugs that have been around in high schools and even middle schools have always been marijuana and cocaine. Marijuana has been the culprit of many absent school days and tardy classes, but the more harder drugs like cocaine and heroin have taken these young minds in a whole new direction. Black tar heroin is spreading through schools at a very fast pace, and is increasing the risk of dangerous sexual activity in teens. An undercover officer agrees in a local newspaper article by saying, “It’s in the high school, it’s everywhere. It’s very easy to get” (Flecke, 2012). The drug is cheap, easy to get, and very addicting. Students are now missing classes to go get high and chase the warm good feeling that the drugs have to offer. Many girls are offering themselves in sexual ways in order to pay for the drugs if they have no money. Most of the people who sell the drugs are men out of high school looking to take advantage of younger girls looking to find their next fix or drugs. It is in these teen’s early stages of drug abuse that they begin to create sexual addiction and behaviors that will affect them the rest of their lives. PhD Sandra Brown agrees, “Youth identified with substance problems are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors during adolescence and to continue risky sexual behaviors into adulthood” (Brown, 2001). This is an alarming truth considering that more teenage girls are developing quicker and trying to dress and act like their idol superstars and celebrities. Young teens are always looking for a way to fit in and be accepted. Drug users and drug dealers are taking advantage of confused teens, showing them that sexual favors for drugs is “fun”...
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