The adolescent stage makes or breaks a person’s future regardless of the actions done in the past. It is a risky stage, which parents and teachers tend to fear as it may destroy a teenager’s future if they follow the wrong paths. Most addiction cases reveal that its users began while in their adolescent age as they fall prey to various environmental, social, and physical calamities. The main cause of addiction is peer pressure since most of the teenagers lack a sense of direction and would want to experiment different things that life has to offer. Following such paths might lead to strong addiction to the bad things in life, lack of self-control and worse, death.
Common drugs like alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, and ecstasy tend to cause diverse effects on the adolescents’ brain development (Squeglia, Jacobus, & Tapert, 2009). Continued use of any of these drugs leads to abnormalities in the brain functioning, which later affects the neurocognition with time. Common abnormalities found in the brain include white matter and lack of activation when undertaking the cognitive task. The symptoms are present in most youths especially those with heavy drinking issues for a period of one year (Squeglia, Jacobus, & Tapert, 2009). Marijuana users tend to exhibit subtle anomalies though they lack the same divergence degree as non-adolescents users. Hence, the main issues that may arise from continued drug and substance use are abnormalities in neurocognitive functions. The heavy drinkers tend to have issues pertaining memory decrements, loss of attention, executive functioning and information processing (Broderick & Blewitt, Chapter 9: Physical, Cognitive and Identity Development In Adolescence, 2014). The content and quality of white matter tend to decrease in drug users compared to the non-drug users. The substances found in the drugs tend to affect the white matter formation, resulting in irregular moods and depressive symptoms.
A healthy spiritual development affects the adolescent positively by shielding and guiding them through the temptations of life. However, there is a small number that might slip into addiction along the way. The major task lies in developing and nurturing an adolescent through the right channels in life. Parents act as a key component in the development of their children’s adolescent years (Broderick & Blewitt, Chapter 10: The Social World of Adolescence, 2014). Parents should accept that conflicts between them, and their children is a normal occurrence. Most of the adolescents are trying to discover the world by themselves though most of their life choices might not be the best. However, the parent should not fully let them do as they please. Close monitoring and guidance helps the adolescent to understand the way of life. Letting them fall at times acts as a lesson to them (Broderick & Blewitt, Chapter 10: The Social World of Adolescence, 2014).
The school plays a similar role in the adolescent years. The decline in academic motivation and orientation occurs due to the shift in school structure and processes (Broderick & Blewitt, Chapter 10: The Social World of Adolescence, 2014). The constant change makes it hard for the adolescent to create good bonds with classmates. It is advisable to shift them later in their adolescent years when strong bonds between students are present. Creation of school or community outreaches tends to boost the adolescents learning capabilities. Allowing them to work during their leisure hours affects their morale, as they are quite happy with the current jobs (Broderick & Blewitt, Chapter 10: The Social World of Adolescence, 2014). Most of them quit school because of the easy money made from working small jobs around the community.
Drug use in Virginia tends to be a major concern among the community members. According to the Chief Medical Examiner, more than 3000 lives were lost in the last five years to drug usage (Sears, 2015). Most of the deaths came about through drug overdose. Richmond, Henrico and Chesterfield are among the top five locations for drug overdose cases, especially heroin. The use of heroin surpasses most of the other drugs like marijuana. Most prescription drug abusers tend to use heroin more as they seek to have a bigger high. Apart from that, drug peddlers sell heroin cheaper than other drugs since it is extremely potent and available in large quantities (Sears, 2015). Local students are engaging in the trade and tend to sell or share their products in house parties. The situation might be worse as time progresses unless the community comes together to stomp out the drugs.
Broderick, P. C., & Blewitt, P. (2014). Chapter 10: The Social World of Adolescence. In P. C. Broderick, & P. Blewitt, The Life Span: Human Development for Helping Professionals (pp. 368-407). New Jersey: Pearson Education.
Broderick, P. C., & Blewitt, P. (2014). Chapter 9: Physical, Cognitive and Identity Development In Adolescence. In P. C. Broderick, & P. Blewitt, The Life Span: Human Development for Helping Professionals (pp. 324-367). New Jersey: Pearson Education.
Sears, T. (2015, May 12). Families Open Up About Heroin, Prescription Drug Abuse In Virginia Schools. Retrieved from WTVR: http://wtvr.com/2015/05/12/heroin-drug-overdose-deaths/
Squeglia, L. M., Jacobus, J., & Tapert, S. F. (2009). The Influence of Substance Use on Adolescent Brain Development. Clinical EEG and Neuroscience: Official Journal of the EEG and Clinical Neuroscience Society, 31-38.