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Adolescent Drug Abuse

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Adolescent Drug Abuse

Crack, booze, pot, crystal- from the inner city to the suburbs to small towns, the world of the adolescent is filled with drugs. When a little harmless experimentation becomes addiction, parents, teachers, and society are often at a loss. For this age group (roughly ages 13 to 23), traditional substance abuse programs simply are not enough" (Nowinski, inside cover).

Today's society provides many challenges for adolescents that our parents rarely had to face. Pre-marital sex and pregnancy, alcohol abuse, and drug addiction have always been around but they have never been more of a problem to adolescents than they are now. Adolescents are on their own to take care of themselves with more and more single parent households. The problem of drug and alcohol is a major one. Teenagers feel a need to drink and do drugs to fit in to peer groups. The problem is spreading rapidly. The common thought is that drugs are only in the big city or where the poor live but that is wrong. Any person can get drugs from the huge highly populated city to the small less populated towns of Texas and Nebraska. It doesn't matter where you are. There is a major need for adults to intervene and stop the problem at its beginnings, adolescents. If we sit here and deny the fact that the problem is there then we are just setting ourselves up for disaster.

The first source that I used for my research was a book written by Dr. Joseph Nowinski entitled Substance Abuse in Adolescents & Young Adults. It was written at the Elmcrest Psychiatric Institute in 1990. The book described Dr. Nowinski's study of adolescent addicts of drugs and alcohol. It goes on to explain the need for the development of treatment plans for adolescents because conventional plans do not work on this age group. The second source that I used was a journal article entitled "Prevalence of substance abuse in a rural teenage population." It was written by Wade Silverman. This article was published in The Journal of Adolescent Chemical Dependency in 1991. This article presented the results of a survey done in a rural school system to assess the prevalence rates of substance use and related lifestyle variables for teens and their parents. The third source that I used was a newspaper article taken from the February 1, 1994 edition of the Los Angeles Times. The piece was written by Marlene Cimons. The article, entitled "Illicit drug use by youths shows marked increases," announced that the results of an annual survey showed that drug use had increased significantly among teenagers between 1992 and 1993 and has continued to consistently rise since then. My fourth source was a journal article written by S. Brown and others.

It was taken from The Journal of Studies on Alcohol. The article was entitled "Conduct disorder among adolescent alcohol and drug abusers" and was published in

1996. The article summarized a study that examined the extent to which conduct disorder type behavior predated substance use involvement among 166 adolescents in treatment for alcohol and other drug abuse. My final source was another journal article that was taken from The Journal of Marital and family Therapy. The article was written by H. Joanning and others in 1992. The article, entitled "Treating adolescent drug abuse: A comparison of family systems therapy, group therapy, and family drug education," describes the differential effectiveness of three models of adolescent drug abuse treatment. It compares the Family Systems Therapy, the Adolescent Group Therapy, and the Family Drug Education models.

Dr. Nowinski's



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