Adolescent Substance Use and Addiction Research Paper

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Economic deprivation arises from various activities and aspects of the family in attempts to minimize the threats affecting the at-risk youth. Some of the factors affecting the economic deprivation in relation to at-risk youth within the family include rehabilitation fee, treatment fee, and addiction cost thus affecting the overall economic level of the family (McWhirter,2013). This is a problem with the scarce family resources thus the need to adopt and integrate effective elements towards minimization or management of the problems affecting the growth and development of the family members in relation to the existing factors.

Another critical family problem or issue relates to the lack of adults and parental role models under the influence massive drug addiction thus affecting the growth and development of the youths within the family unit. It is also essential to note that at-risk youths increases parental criminality and development of family violence attitudes or anti-social behavior. Siblings also develop antisocial behavior hence the generation of ineffective atmosphere for quality development and growth of the youths within the family.

School Issues That May Impact at-risk Youth

There are various implications or influences of the school problems or issues in relation to at-risk youth. The main impact is the concept of low or poor school performance under the influence of the substance abuse and addiction (McWhirter, 2013). Such youths take the majority of their time to focus on the abuse of substance and addiction thus realization of poor performance in the schools. This relates to the reduction in the level of concentration thus inability to perform effectively and efficiently with reference to school work (Rockholz, 2011). The poor performance of the schools has a negative influence in the realization of effective and efficient growth and development of the adolescents thus the need to involve in substance abuse and addiction. Another school issue with the relevant implication in relation to the at-risk youths is essentially of low educational aspirations especially among the female adolescents.

These low educational aspirations among the female at-risk youths lead to extensive engagement in the adolescent substance use and addiction. There is also the essence of the high level of anti-social behavior among the students and relevant teachers within the context of the learning institution. This makes it ideal for the development of violent behavior within the learning institution thus affecting the development and growth of the students or at-risk youths. Another implication is the essence of educational frustration which affects the development and growth of at-risk youths in the context of the learning institutions. These elements of frustration in the education system contribute towards increased involvement in substance abuse and addiction (McWhirter, 2013). This eventually contributes to the deterioration in the health or development of at-risk youths in the context of learning institutions.

Teachers also contribute to the negative implications on at-risk youths through integration of negative labeling during their interactions within the context of the learning institution. This relates to the development of anti-social behavior or interactions thus putting adolescents at risk of substance abuse, addiction, and other negative implications such as engaging in criminal activities. Learning institution should focus on the elimination of such as behavior or interaction by the teachers with the aim of eliminating the risk factors thus an opportunity to facilitate quality and effective development and growth of the students in the schools.

Learning difficulties also have critical influence in relation to the living standard and the essence of at-risk youths. There is a need for the learning institutions to focus on the integration of activities with the aim of promoting easy learning outcomes for effective participation of at-risk youths. This will be vital towards improvement of their living conditions and development with the aim of promoting sufficient interaction and promotion of social behavior among the students (McWhirter, 2013). There are school issues with negative implications on at-risk youths such as lack of role models in the form of teachers, low attachment to school, and poor relationship and interaction between the youths and teachers. It is ideal for the learning institutions to focus on the promotion of effective interaction and efficient systems to facilitate the development and growth of at-risk youths in the modern society. This will promote minimization of antisocial behavior among at-risk youths (Kaminer et al., 2011).

Prevention, Intervention and Treatment Options

There are various prevention, intervention, and treatment options in relation elimination of the adolescent substance abuse and addiction. The first intervention approach is the integration of the concept of family-based therapy (Winters et al., 2011). This approach focuses on the reduction of an adolescent's use or abuse of drugs and related disorders or problem behaviors in association with the substance abuse. This is through addressing mediating family risk factors in the form of family communication, lack of cohesion, and effective solutions to the problems. The main assumption of this approach indicates that the family is the center of therapeutic premise in relation to profound and long lasting influence or implications on the minors and adolescent with reference to their growth and development (Winters et al., 2011). The family-based therapy focuses on the inclusion of the subject (adolescent) and at least one of the parents or relevant guardian.

The second approach is the integration of individual and group therapy approach towards elimination of the adolescent substance abuse and addiction. In accordance with the name, individual therapy focuses on the promotion of one-on-one psychosocial therapeutic sessions with reference to the interaction between patient and therapist. On the other hand, group therapy focuses on the sessions between one or two therapists and a group of patients. These therapies are utilized in adolescent substance use treatment. Despite this aspect, group therapy is vital in the treatment of substance abuse (Winters et al., 2011). Adolescents are grouped together because of similarities in the characteristics of the problems affecting the group. Currently, the implementation of the cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most effective approach towards realization of the goals and objectives of individual and group therapy in relation to management of substance abuse and addiction among adolescents.

The third approach towards the prevention or management of substance abuse among adolescents is the integration of the concept of the twelve-step programs. The programs focus on the incorporation of self-help approach within the context of the reciprocal approach or support (Winters et al., 2011). They relate to the tenets of alcoholics anonymous thus applicable in the case of inpatient and outpatient treatment programs. Implementation of this approach indicates that individuals will have the opportunity to support each other's sobriety in relation to quality encouragement of mental and spiritual health through the journey of the twelve-long steps.

The fourth approach is the implementation of therapeutic community with reference to the promotion of self-help principles and experimental knowledge of the recovery community. This treatment is essential towards minimization of the problem affecting the adolescents because of its holistic nature thus inclusion of community as key agents of change, emphasizing mutual self-help, and behavioral consequences. This approach tends to be long-term residential treatment program with the aim of implementing variety techniques such as family therapy, life skills, and 12-step techniques (Borkman, 2008).

There is also an opportunity for integration of the concept of pharmacotherapy. This treatment approach focuses on the medication to address various aspects of addiction thus the inclusion of reduction motives, aversive therapy, substitution therapy, and management of underlying psychiatric disorders. There is still need to execute sufficient research in relation to this approach of treatment of substance abuse and addiction in the adolescent stage.


Adolescent substance abuse and addiction is a common global problem affecting the growth and development of adolescents. Some of the influences of the adolescent substance abuse and addiction include poor performance in schools, adoption of anti-social behavior, violent interactions, and family, communal, and society issues. It is ideal for the society to focus on the minimization of the adolescent substance abuse and addiction thus the ability to eliminate risk factors towards the development and growth of the adolescents. Some of the most effective ways for management include individual/group therapy, family therapy, twelve-step approach, community therapy, and pharmacological approach.


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