Social Problems in the US: Drug Abuse amongst Adolescents
As the societal conditions become turbulent and volatile, the youth and adolescents are increasingly becoming at risk of exploitation. Their vulnerability compels them to take certain measures in a bid to address or cope with the wide ranging challenges or problems that they experience. One of the most persistent social problems that the US currently faces pertains to the issue of use and abuse of drugs by the adolescents. Fundamentally, adolescence is a phase of growth and development where the individuals experience changes in their cognitive, biological and social changes. In most instances they resort to alcoholism and use of various illicit drugs in an attempt to cope with the challenges and stress that is related to the changes that they undergo. In other instances, they use and abuse drugs because of peer pressure or as a way of modeling behavior of a senior member of the family. The assumption of this malpractice has had far reaching impacts on their wellbeing as well as the welfare of the society.
Basically, the relative social, economic and health implications of drug use and abuse by the adolescents has adverse impacts on the societal wellbeing. Exploring this issue is of paramount importance because the practice is undermining the future of the society. In this regard, it is worth appreciating that the future of the US society is highly depended on the wellbeing of this young generation. In order to safeguard the status of this super power, it is important to ensure that the youth live healthy lifestyles. This assures the nation of continued or sustained economic production and social wellbeing.
Recent trends also indicate that the use and abuse of drugs across all age spectrums has increased significantly. This implies that the wellbeing of the youth who are more vulnerable is at stake. To curb this and secure the nation’s future, it is imperative to address the underlying causes in a timely manner. This will also go a long way in enhancing the safety as well as security of the youth. Empirical studies also cite that to a great extent, the social conditions contribute in different ways to the exacerbation of this issue. Addressing or reviewing it will underscore the contributions that the society makes and encourage assumption of timely intervention measures.
Most importantly, the corporate world is looking forward to incorporating the youth in its work force in the near future. Certainly, continued economic productivity is highly depended on the wellbeing of the youth. Also worth mentioning is the fact that the current social and economic status of this country is highly depended on the holistic wellbeing of the youth. Abuse and use of drugs denies this population of a chance to participate inactive employment. This is because they drop out of learning institutions without airing the skills and knowledge that is essential for professional working. Seemingly, this increases their risk with regards to involvement in crime and other unproductive activities. The negative impacts are undoubtedly massive and need to be addressed accordingly. This can only be attained if they are brought to the fore by researches or studies such as this.
Drug use and abuse is a social ill that is increasingly affecting the youth as well as their lifestyles. Besides alcohol, Goldenberg indicates that the youth struggle with other illicit drugs such as heroine, cocaine, glue, marijuana and so forth. The drugs are readily available in the American streets. They are sold illegally by a section of certain criminals as well as criminal gangs. Recent trends indicate that the availability of tobacco to small children has caused a significant three thousand youngsters to assume smoking on a daily basis. Besides the health risks, the respective children risk shortening their lives and being depended on the drugs during their entire life. Statistical evidence indicates that the use of illicit drugs by the youngsters has gone up by close to 150% (Beman 5). Seemingly, the government and the society at large have contributed in different ways to this state of affairs.
To begin with, the government has not been committed to formulating, implementing and enforcing regulations and policies that are geared towards curbing the malpractice. The inherent laxity can be implicated for encouraging the practice and making it increasingly difficult to address it in a timely manner. From an ethical point of view, the government needs to assume the responsibility of addressing emergent social problems such as these. In this consideration, the government has failed dismally to address the problem that it has the ability to. This implies that important social structures are not committed to safeguarding the wellbeing of its individuals.
In his research, Goldberg indicates that some of the youth get into the practice by aping the older members of the society (53). Essentially, these are required to provide guidance to the youth accordingly. The fact that they engage in drug use and abuse implies that the youth lack important role models that can enable them to develop values that are in line with the societal virtues and expectations. This is further compounded by the failing family. In this regard, family conflicts and disputes have been partly blamed for making the youth to resort to use and abuse of drugs. The society in this regard has also failed to provide viable conditions for effective growth and development of the youth. Then, the entire population that is supposed to be responsible for our youth has also failed in this regard. Arguably, individuals that illegally sell the drugs are well known to the public. The fact that it has failed to collaborate with the law enforcers to address this implies that they are unwilling to fight the vice.
In sum, use and abuse of drugs by the teenagers is an emergent issue that has adverse impacts on the holistic wellbeing of both the youth and the society. The health risks endanger the lives of victims and increase their vulnerability to being abuse. Seemingly, the society has contributed to the current status in different ways. In particular, the law enforcers have not implemented and enforced relevant laws and regulations to affect the issue. The eroding social values that senior members have assumed have denied the youth ideal role models that would enable them to develop an acceptable identity. Statistics regarding the number of children assuming smoking are particularly worrying. The research provides useful insights regarding the role of the society in molding acceptable behaviors amongst the youth. The findings will undoubtedly be useful in informing policy formulation and ensuring credible decision making.
Beman Deane. Risk Factors leading to Adolescent Substance Abuse. Adolescence, 30.1 (1995) 3-7. Print.
Goldberg Raymond. Drugs Across the Spectrum. USA: Brooks Cole, 2009. Print.