Substance Abuse in Youth: Causes & Consequences - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  907 Words
Date:  2023-01-27


Substance abuse is among the serious challenges that the youth face in contemporary society. Examples of substances abused include volatile solvents, which consist of liquids that can dissolve other substances (Chakravarthy, Shah & Lotfipour, 2013). These include gasoline, paint thinners, airplane glue such as nitrites, aerosols, and anesthetics. Adolescents also engage in abusing drugs such as tobacco, alcohol, and illegal prescription drugs for non-medical purposes. There are underlying reasons why adolescents engage in abusing drugs (Hernandez, Rodriguez & Spirito, 2015). These include the desire to gain new experiences, peer pressure, an attempt to deal with their problems, and perform better in school. (Kann, et al., 2018) explained that engaging in drug abuse may help them fulfill such developmental drives, but it is an unhealthy way of solving problems that can lead to long term serious consequences. Therefore, Kong, et al. (2019) asserted that the diagnosis is a health problem for adolescents due to several reasons which are discussed in the following peer-reviewed literature.

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Peer-Reviewed Literature

Goldman et al. (2019) focused on looking at the significant issue of death caused by drug abuse and asserted that the cases exceeded 64,000 in the United States. The key reason for these challenges is as a result of increased death attributes, which are geared towards illicitly manufactured fentanyl (Martinelli, 2019). The article also provides an analysis of fentanyl test strips (FTS), which are significant in detecting fentanyl in illicit drugs. Goldman et al. (2019) also asserted that these are significant in identifying fentanyl drugs that facilitate the distribution of information, especially among individuals who use drugs and are highly exposed before consumption (Salam et al., 2016). Goldman et al. (2019) also provided an assessment of FTS among young adults. The findings are significant in providing crucial perspectives on the usage of FTS among young individuals who use drugs, provided the high acceptability levels and behavioral changes which the study participants reported.

Hernandez, Rodriguez, and Spirito (2015) also conducted a study which is closely linked to Goldman et al. (2019). These are significant to the current research problem since they also look at the issue of drug abuse among the youth. Hernandez et al. (2015) explained that parental child communication, parental supervision, and monitoring are linked to the usage of disapproval of substance and beliefs, family management strategies and positive parenting which are essential in protecting against adolescent substance abuse. These have received greater support in the literature (Sullum, 2019). The article by Goldman et al. (2019) is significant to the current study since it discusses the different theoretical foundations, and their application on family check-up, and a general intervention for adolescent substance abuse.

Health Promotion Plan

The fundamental health promotion plan which applies to the current research is the use of school-based health education that targets the adolescent (The CDC, 2019). The education program will be primarily employed in high schools, where the most significant population consists of adolescents. The educational program would also be significant to parents and teachers since it will provide more information about drug and substance abuse. The key stakeholders will be in a position to identify the warning signs among the adolescents, and seek appropriate ways of getting help (Martinelli, 2019).

Goldman et al. (2019) explained that the fundamental goal of the plan would be to raise awareness among the adolescents concerning substance abuse, train participants of the problem, and also educate them on common effects of substance abuse. The program will consist of information on community resources, counseling referral procedures, list of warning signs which emphasize on drug abuse, and epidemiology of drug abuse (Goldman et al., 2019).


Chakravarthy, B., Shah, S., & Lotfipour, S. (2013). Adolescent drug abuse-awareness andprevention. Indian Journal of Medical Research 137(6). 1021-1023. E-Cigarett Usage. (2019). Congressional Digest, 98(5), 30. Retrieved from

Commissioner's Letter. (2018). Scholastic, INC., p.1. Signed.pdf (Links to an external site.)

Goldman, J. E., Waye, K. M., Periera, K. A., Krieger, M. S., Yedinak, J. L., & Marshall, B. (2019). Perspectives on rapid fentanyl test strips as a harm reduction practice amongyoung adults who use drugs: a qualitative study. Harm reduction journal, 16(1), 3. doi:10.1186/s12954-018-0276-0

Hernandez, L., Rodriguez, A. M., & Spirito, A. (2015). Brief Family-Based Intervention for Substance Abusing Adolescents. Child and adolescent psychiatric clinics of North America, 24(3), 585-599. doi:10.1016/j.chc.2015.02.010

Kann, L., McManus, T., Harris, W. A., Shanklin, S. L., Flint, K. H., Queen, B., ... Ethier, K. A. (2018). Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance - United States, 2017. Morbidity and mortality weekly report. Surveillance summaries (Washington, D.C. : 2002), 67(8), 1-114. doi:10.15585/mmwr.ss6708a1

Kong, G., Simon, P., Mayer, M. E., Barrington-Trimis, J. L., Pacek, L. R., Cooper, M., ...Stanton, C. A. (2019). Harm Perceptions of Alternative Tobacco Products among US Adolescents. American Journal of Health Behavior, 43(3), 242-252.

Martinelli, K. (2019) Teen Vaping: What You Need to Know.

Salam, R., Das, J., M.B.A., Lassi, Z., & Bhutta, Z. (2016). Adolescent health interventions: Conclusions, evidence gaps, and research priorities. Journal of Adolescent Health 59(4). 88-S92.

Sullum, J. (2019). The Upside of Teen Vaping. Reason, 51(2), 16. Retrieved from

The Associated Press. (2018). Feds target teen vaping as an "epidemic," drawing praise from Colorado health officials. vaping-targeted-by-feds/ (Links to an external site.)

The CDC. (2019). Teen Substance Use & Risks.

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