During the late 18th to early 19th century drugs are mainly used for medicinal purposes. For example, marijuana and cocaine which at the time could be easily obtained from pharmacies or general stores and also other drugs such as methamphetamine which were distributed to the military usage for combating fatigue among the soldiers. However, these substances when used in inappropriately can bring unpredictable consequences. For example, excessive use of marijuana can lead to damage to the physical and mental system and caused the increase of violence. There were early attempts to regulate these substances mainly by imposing tax on distribution and sales of drugs. As with the 1960s, drugs became more commonly used for recreational purposes, which in turn leads to President Nixon, the 37th President of the United States to declare a “War on Drugs” which introduced stricter measures to combat drug usage. Today, despite the measures taken by most countries to outlaw drugs, these substances can still be easily obtained. Teenagers are a vulnerable crowd when it comes to doing drugs and when not careful, could be easily exposed and become addicted to drug usage which can ultimately destroy their future. There are reasonings for teenagers getting into drug usage and the effects that will be brought upon them when drugs are consumed which will be looked into with this discussion.
Drugs abuse among teenagers often caused by a stressful lifestyle especially during secondary school and university. The stress may originate from the strong desire to perform well academically and the peer pressure among teenagers. Normally, teenagers would constantly worry about their school assignments and examinations. A study carried out by the American Psychological Association (2013) showed “Stress level among teenagers during the school year far exceeds what they believe to be healthy (5.8 vs. 3.9 on a 10-point scale) and tops adults’ average reported stress level in the past month (5.8 for teens vs. 5.1 for adults)”. This pressure is good for them as it encourages self-improvement and be more discipline in order to perform better in their studies. However, there are still teenagers who their ability to sustain stress are lower which then causes them to attempt to escape from the problems and hence exposing themselves to drugs as an alternative way to de-stress. Furthermore, peer pressure among teenagers will also leave a huge impact. Some of the teenagers are vulnerable to follow their friends blindly to perform negative activities. The fear of being isolated by their friends will encourage them to do negative things such as taking drugs without thinking of the consequences because their friends encouraged them to do so.
People assume that trying out drugs will not cause addiction and does not affect them, but they are often controlled by drugs. Addicted people lack self-control and once they stop taking drugs, may cause negative physical and psychological reactions like anxiety, irritability, and unhappiness. The downside of drugs is that they are addictive because they contain cocaine, heroin, and tobacco. The contents of these can make addicts hard to quit and continue to use drugs until they suffer an overdose. Drugs are costly to obtain, but the constant abuse of drugs by addicts will lead to non-legal ways to obtain allowance to purchase drugs to satisfy themselves. They may commit crimes like looting, stealing and deceiving. The demand for drugs encourages more distribution of these substances and makes drugs more easily obtainable.
In addition, teenagers who abuse drugs will lead to bad effects on their health. Damage caused to the immune system, which increases susceptibility to infection. It will bring about cardiovascular condition, including collapsed veins and cardiac arrest. Besides that, substance abuse among adolescents are linked to mental health problems such as developmental lags, withdrawal, depression, apathy, and other psychosocial dysfunctions. The drugs cause disruption by either imitating the brain’s chemical messengers or by over-stimulating the production of neurotransmitters by the nerve cells. For instance, drugs such as heroin and marijuana contain chemicals that have a similar structure to neurotransmitters. The similarity in structure allows the drugs to avoid brain receptors from producing neurotransmitters, naturally activating nerve cells to send abnormal messages. The way teenagers act, think and remember things can be affected by marijuana, methamphetamine, pain relievers and liquor. Motivation and psychosexual /emotional development also may be influenced.
In conclusion, srugs abuse among teenagers will cause addiction and leads to social problems such as crime and violence. If this situation overspreads continuously and not taken into serious consideration, will lead to teenagers destroying their life, suffering from drug addiction and serious health issues. Drugs will change a person to someone they may never want to be.
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