Dana D. Frazier
Abuse and Substance Addiction in Adolescences
Did you know that one in 15 high school seniors smoke marijuana on a daily basis or near daily basis, and close to three quarters have consumed alcohol by the end of their high school years (Feldman, 2013, p. 371)? The adolescence years can be characterized by irresponsible behavior and risky choices for some, causing the prevalence of substance abuse and addiction to be on the rise during these years. Substance abuse can be defined as the over indulgence of a substance that can lead to harmful effects for the individual and or others. Adolescents turn to substance abuse for various reasons. According to Feldman (2013, p.371) many use because they want that free spirit feeling that the loss of inhibitions and tension might provide, others are thrill seeking, and some use them as means to escape from daily stressors. Research states there is a link between adolescent’s substance addiction and changes in brain structure, function, and neurocognition that are characterized by this stage of development (Squeglia, L. M., Jacobus, J., & Tapert, S. F.,2009).
Substance Abuse/Addiction on Brain Development
From 12 to 18 years of age the use of alcohol and drugs rises tremendously. This rise in substance use correlates with the fact that in 2009 23% of adolescents met the diagnostic criteria for substance use disorder by the age of 20 (Squeglia, L. M., Jacobus, J., & Tapert, S. F.,2009). The usage of alcohol and drugs during the adolescences years could possibly lead to the brain deviating from its normal route of maturation and key processes of brain development (Squeglia, L. M., Jacobus, J., & Tapert, S. F.,2009). There was a study conducted in which adolescents with an alcohol addiction and those who did not have an addition were tested for memory recall. The study produced result that proved those with the addiction recalled 10% less than those who did not have an addiction. The second part of the study involved putting the adolescents that had an alcohol addition on a three week detox. The results still showed that those with the addition recalled less than those who did not have the addiction (Squeglia, L. M., Jacobus, J., & Tapert, S. F.,2009).
Spiritual Development and Substance Addiction/Abuse
Spiritual development can be defined as the change and maturation of ones connection with a higher power such as a God, nature, or something sacred. During adolescence spiritual development evolves from concrete to more abstract, which could cause a closer spiritual connection that offers answers to abstract questions (Feldman, 2013,p 388 & 389). This close spiritual connection can act as a social control agent for some, deterring them away from alcohol and drug usage (Allen, T. M., & Lo, C. C.,2010). Research has provided empirical evidence of the link between the abstinence of substance use and spiritual development in adolescence (Allen, T. M., & Lo, C. C.,2010).
Local News Coverage on Adolescence and Substance Abuse/Addiction
Today’s adolescents are becoming very resourceful, and creative. It has become the generational trend to find ways to get drunk and high off of normal everyday house hold products such as glue, cold