Drugs and Alcoholism: Why are Teenagers Involved?

Adolescence is much like a midpoint in ones life; when a person is neither a kid nor an adult. At this period, teens have passed the age when they were called kids but are not yet qualified to be adults. Teenagers want to think like adults, behave like adults and also start to view themselves as independent beings in decision making. All this hormonal changes also come with the negativity of maturity such as drugs and alcohol. The statistics below show that the percentage of teenagers using drugs and alcohol in the last decade has increased. Why is this? The answer is that teenagers are under pressure by their peers, mass media and also the influence of parents.

8th-Graders 10th-Graders 12th-Graders
Marijuana 22.2% 40.9% 49.7%
Cocaine 4.7 7.7 9.8
Inhalants 15.4 17.0 19.7
LSD 4.1 8.5 12.2
Heroin 2.0 2.3 2.3
Alcohol 52.1 70.6 80.0
Cigarettes 44.1 57.6 64.6

Peer pressure plays a major role in the harmful behavior of teens. Teens who want to fit in among their friends are most especially prone to this. They try to make friends and they get friends as much as possible. Of these friends there are the good ones who give them the knowledge and information you want need or inquire and there are the ones who give them information about not too good things like drug, alcohol, parties, e.t.c. This influential communication between a teen and his/her peer may be directly or indirectly. Directly such as conversations with their friends or indirectly such as listening to classmates discussing of a party which occurred a night before. Then they begin to mention alcohol, drugs and violence obviously from what have experienced they talk about it in a way possible. Then you would like to see how good it is the next weekend you go to that kind of party. If you can not resist such as a temptation you will begin to do harmful deeds that will definitely have adverse results in the future.

Let?s not put all the blame on teens and their peers alone. The mass media is also responsible in an understandable way. The media has proven to be a lot damaging than useful in the type of information meant for mature audience but end up with the immature audience. Soap operas and frivolous shows shown on TV contain immoral and untrue images of the world as it is more of the writer?s imagination or the way directors direct them to act. Most teenagers are probably old enough to watch this shows but not mature enough to comprehend with the fictitious nature of movies and soap operas.

Though movies and soaps are rated, underage people are still able to access them. The responsibility then shifts to the parents whom are meant to control their children from getting misleading information about drugs, alcoholism and lots more. This can be done through the use of V-chip for TV and Parental Controls for Internet. Parents who I would disparage of because most parents have and are taking care of their responsibility and it has worked tremendously.

Happily, in the past year, alcohol and drug usage among teens have decreased nationwide (US). This is apparently because the media, which is responsible for the frivolous information, has increased amount of information about drug abuse, alcoholism and their long and short-term side effects. They have also been informing parents about the use of V chips in their TV set to block out unwanted programs. These are some of the trends that make we teenagers most liable to the atrocities of the modern world at an early age.