Adolescent Drug Abuse

I.) Introduction:
"Crack, booze, pot, crystal- from the inner city to the suburbs to small
towns, the world of the adolescent is permeated by drugs. When \'a little
harmless experimentation\' becomes addiction, parents, teachers, and clinicians
are often at a loss. For this age group (roughly ages 13 to 23), traditional
substance abuse programs simply are not enough" (Nowinski, inside cover).
Today\'s society provides many challenges for adolescents that our
parents never had to face. Pre-marital sex and pregnancy, alcohol abuse, and
drug addiction have always been around but they have never been more available
to adolescents than they are now. Adolescents are more on their own to take
care of themselves with more and more single parent households. The problem of
drug and alcohol is a major one. Teenagers feel a need to drink and do drugs to
fit in to peer groups. The problem is widespread. The common thoughts that
drugs are only in the city where the poor live but that is wrong. Any single
person can get drugs from the inner city to the small rural towns of Texas and
Nebraska. It doesn\'t matter where you are. There is a major need for adults to
intervene and stop the problem at its beginnings, the adolescents. If we sit
here and deny the fact that the problem is there then we are just setting
ourselves up for disaster.

II.) Review of Literature:
A Source 1:
The first piece of literature that I used was a book written by Dr.
Joseph Nowinski entitled Substance Abuse in Adolescents & Young Adults. It was
written at the Elmcrest Psychiatric Institute in 1990. The book described Dr.
Nowinski\'s study of adolescent addicts of drugs and alcohol. It goes on to
explain the need for the development of treatment plans for adolescents because
conventional plans do not work on this age group.
B) Source 2:
The second source that I used was a journal article entitled “Prevalence
of substance abuse in a rural teenage population.” It was written by Wade
Silverman. This article was published in The Journal of Adolescent Chemical
Dependency in 1991. This article presented the results of a survey done in a
rural school system to assess the prevalence rates of substance use and related
lifestyle variables for teens and their parents.
C) Source 3:
The third source that I used was a newspaper article taken from the
February 1, 1994 edition of the Los Angeles Times. The piece was written by
Marlene Cimons. The article, entitled “Illicit drug use by youths shows marked
increases,” announced that the results of an annual survey showed that drug use
had increased significantly among teenagers between 1992 and 1993.
D) Source 4:
My fourth source was a journal article written by S. Brown and others.
It was taken from The Journal of Studies on Alcohol. The article was entitled “
Conduct disorder among adolescent alcohol and drug abusers” and was published in
1996. The article summarized a study that examined the extent to which conduct
disorder type behavior predated substance use involvement among 166 adolescents
in treatment for alcohol and other drug abuse.
E) Source 5:
My final source was another journal article that was taken from The
Journal of Marital and family Therapy. The article was written by H. Joanning
and others in 1992. The article, entitled “Treating adolescent drug abuse: A
comparison of family systems therapy, group therapy, and family drug education,”
describes the differential effectiveness of three models of adolescent drug
abuse treatment. It compares the Family Systems Therapy, the Adolescent Group
Therapy, and the Family Drug Education models.

III.) Methodology:
I started out my research by going to the computers in the library and
researching journal and newspaper articles in the WinSpirs databases. I found
articles from psychology, sociology, and science databases. I then looked for
the articles in the journal section of the library. I found some of the
articles in the school library as well as using my local library. I also used
the OPAC computer to find my book source.

IV.) Result of Information Gathered:
A) Source 1:
Dr. Nowinski\'s book describes specific cases of adolescent drug abuse
that he has worked with. He describes the different patterns of drug abuse and
the causes of such abuse. He describes causes like alienation, low self- esteem
and confidence, stress, and peer pressure. He goes into how development of new
treatment techniques are necessary because adolescent addictions are different
than those of adults. He describes the process of counseling, denial and
compliance, and surrender and recovery. Nowinski stresses the need for family
intervention in cases that involve adolescents.