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Adolescence and drug abuse

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  1. The experimentation of drugs during adolescence
  2. Addiction to harder drugs and other consequences in the future
  3. Teens and their reasons to use drugs
  4. The growing drug problem in our society

Adolescence is a very important time during the course of one's life. It is a time of change, a time of self-realization. While the body undergoes many changes, adolescence is also the time when kids grow up and mature into adulthood. Because adolescence is such a difficult period in life, many teenagers turn to drugs and alcohol for help during these vital years of development. What these kids do not consider is how badly the choices they make today will affect their future.

[...] Using alcohol and tobacco at a young age increases the risk of using other drugs later. Some teens will experiment and stop, or continue to use occasionally, without significant problems. Others will develop a dependency, moving on to more dangerous drugs and causing significant harm to themselves and possibly others. For example, teens who smoke are three times more likely than nonsmokers to use alcohol, eight times more likely to use marijuana, and 22 times more likely to use cocaine. [...]

[...] Consequently, new drugs experience sharp use increases for months or even years. Meanwhile, gathering information about the drug's risks takes time, but when specific evidence is gathered and aggressively distributed either via the media or friends and family, the results are dramatic. However, while we fight against teens and drugs, the Monitoring the Future survey ?reports that from 1996 through 2005 more than half of the students in the United States tried an illegal drug before they graduated from high school. [...]

[...] Adolescents use these drugs with the intent to help solve their problems. Granted, it is stressful to be dealing with major physical, emotional, and sexual changes, but the use of gateway drugs does not help or assist these teenagers in any way. In fact, it causes problems in the future, and that is a problem that we, as a society, have to address. According to a study done by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, ?Almost 8.6 million youths ages 12 to 17, over one third of this age group, used alcohol in the past year. [...]

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