CJS/240 Introduction to Juvenile Justice
Teenage Drug Use Teenage drug use statistic is on the rise. Finding what influences these youth to try drugs is an important aspect to decrease these statistics. We live in the world where drugs are readily available. Teens were having problems coping with everyday life, and peer pressure creates drug use. Some of these teens are delinquents when the drug use starts. Others, drug use, leads to delinquency. This paper will cover three articles from the UOP library on why teenagers turn to drugs and the link between drug use and delinquency.
Teenagers and the use of drugs. Teenagers are easily influenced to try drugs by their peers. The need to be “in” the group or be cool and not afraid influences many youths. (Pollard, 1967). Teens also rebel against authority and do drugs for the thrill of getting away with it. They often do drugs to prove themselves to their friends and other group members. Drugs are easy to obtain for teens. Many youngsters use drugs to escape the reality of a stressful world. Teenagers may not comprehend the full extent of the dangers of drug use and become addicted. Starting out occasionally using drugs can lead to harder drugs, with more frequent usage. Drug use among teenagers already delinquent is higher than non-delinquent teenagers, but there is no evidence that one leads to the other. (Pollard, 1967). According to McIntosh, MacDonald, McKeganey (2003) a group of preteens and teens was researched. Their findings were those who used drugs regularly or occasional was by personal choice and boredom. Youths experiment with drugs for the freedom feeling that comes along with them. Other research showed that boredom and hanging out in the streets to associate with drug use and delinquency. Delinquency Existing research leaves little doubt that drug use and delinquency are associated. Some evidence supports that drugs are a cause of delinquency. (Ford, 2008). The effects of drugs cause users to offend, impairs judgment, reduces inhibitions, making juveniles more susceptible to committing delinquent acts. Substance abuse can lead to harsher crimes to support the habit. Although, this behavior happens after the drug use starts, so it can not be the cause of delinquency. Many believe that drug use and delinquency go hand in hand, both are based on a common set of risk factors. Conclusion Many factors influence teens to