Effects of Drugs on Adolescents

Human beings begin to develop from the time that they were conceived until they were born, and they continuously grow and change until they reach the stage of adulthood. Thus, various developmental theories were conceptualized which attempt to explain how human beings develop their personalities and identities over a period of time. One of these theories on development is the Psychosocial Developmental Theory of the psychologist Erik Erikson. Adolescence is the stage or period where physical and mental development takes place.

This transition involves biological, social and psychological changes in an individual’s life. The fifth stage of the psychosocial developmental theory was labeled by Erikson as the stage of Identity vs. Confusion. This stage takes place during the adolescence period of an individual, when a child is at the age of twelve to eighteen years old. It is during this stage when an adolescent tries to discover his or her identity and attempts to figure out his or her personality and where he or she should belong in the world.

It is where a child engages in experimentation since that is a way of discovering himself or herself. If the adolescent was not able to discover and know him or herself, then there would be role and identity confusion in him or her and cause the adolescent to become confused with his or her role and function in the world. This confusion can further lead to dilemmas later in the next stages of life. Adolescents are always confronted with questions about life and their life direction or what they want to do in their life.

As a result, it is not surprising that in today’s society, there are numerous people, most especially teenagers, who are caught up with different problems in life. Many of these teenagers are lost and confused with what they want to do and what they want to be in their life and how they are going to be part of the society (Chelsi, 2006). For example, when a child reaches the age of sixteen, he or she begins to think about his or her options and the path he or she wishes to tread upon, such as the course to take in college, in order for him or her to have certain goal in life.

In this way, the adolescent will not feel confused with his or her existence and purpose in life. On the other hand, if the adolescent does not meet this goal of choosing a path, he or she may be stuck in this stage or have the tendency to take a wrong way or path in life. One of the resulting problems brought by failing to overcome this stage is substance abuse. There are children who become victims of substance abuse and other problems that contribute to the problem of the society.

Hence, as substance abuse is one of the most pressing problems among teenagers of today, it would be interesting to discuss the effects of drugs on adolescents using Erikson’s stage of Identity vs. Confusion. Drug Usage and Abuse Among Adolescents One common problem of adolescent these days is the use of drugs or substance abuse among teens. At present, drugs can be found anywhere, and it may seem like everybody is doing it. Many adolescents are tempted by the excitement or escape that drugs seem to offer them. There are several illegal drugs that are well-known by mostly teenagers in the society.

Common drugs that most teens get hooked with are the following: alcohol, depressants, ecstasy, heroin, inhalants, marijuana, cocaine or crack, nicotine, Methamphetamine, cough and cold medicines and more. Just like cocaine, it is one of the oldest and common used drugs in the world; it is a stimulant that astounds the central nervous system, giving users a quick, intense feeling of power and energy. When a person is under the influence of this drug, he or she may lose the state of consciousness and may be triggered to do something that he or she does not usually do when he or she is in the normal state of being.

An individual’s family will make a great impact on his decisions. If an adolescent and parent have either a positive or negative relationship, it will be a determining variable to the choices made whether to use drugs or abstain. Parent …

The users can engage in unprotected sex, drive while intoxicated, or engage in violent activities such as fights or riots with other people. These activities may have negative consequences later on. For instance, a girl engaging in sex while high …

Girls may find the transition of adolescence more stressful because during puberty they will gain body fat and move further away from their cultural ideal. Girls also have to deal with menstruation which is negatively associated with blood and discomfort. …

The physiological and psychological effects of illegal drugs or illicit drugs depend on the substance or drug that is used or taken in by an individual. (Yoslow, 1992) Marijuana has the following physiological and psychological effects: increased heart rate, bloodshot …

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