Psychoactive Substances – Initiation and Consumption
It comes as no surprise that recent studies show a considerable rise in the use of psychoactive substances in teenagers. This consumption starts more and more early, bringing aggravated issues to those age groups as well as to all that share a relationship with them.
The adolescence period is a complicated phase and negative events such as lack of family and social support, poor socio-economic conditions, educational problems, as well as other elements, dangerously increase the vulnerability to the usage of such substances.
According to the WHO (World Health Organization), around 11% of the city centers’ populations (worldwide), consume such substances in an abusive manner.
It is necessary, and thus more important, to improve the creation and execution of health policies and specific therapeutic strategies in order to prevent and intervene in the psychoactive substances usage.
One of the main goals is to know how to locate and to pinpoint the initiation and the consumption pattern of such substances within adolescences. This is the only way to address the problem efficiently in order to get results.
Method and Approach:
It is important to start by separating elements as the ones present below:
- Reasons for seeking therapeutic communities, complaints and applied treatments;
- evaluate initiation age towards the substance consumption;
- Consumption patterns in different psychoactive substances.
This topic is actually a global concern due to its importance as well as for the considerable increase of its consumption rates worldwide. This topic has gathered plenty of efforts, in hoping to generate more and more knowledge about this phenomenon and to seek solutions that might reduce the damage – mainly in teenagers.
According to World Health Organization data, such substances consumption is a largely male dominated universe. Other important data points out the low level of education and learning difficulties as potential factors of vulnerability in young people. One can conclude that such contributes considerably for this cycle perpetuation, showing as consequence clashes in personal and familiar relationships, thus resulting – in the future – in an anti-social conduct.
It will not come as a surprise that the psychoactive substances usage is more and more interconnected with low educational achievement (dropping out of school or repeating school years). Recent studies show that in early and middle adolescence (12-16 years), a youngster shows little understanding of the real danger and vulnerabilities that taking such psychoactive substances might bring.
As mentioned in another article present in this website, teenagers in this phase seek independence. They seek to relate to groups that share their personal beliefs and tastes. However, as years pass by, maturity arrives and with that, chances are that the individual will start evaluating risks and assuming the need for protection.
Among the motivations to seek therapeutic communities it deserves a special highlight the important role of the family that seeks clinic and psychological treatment for the teenager. In more than half of the cases, family is the driving element and responsible for the admission and success of these adolescences in the withdrawal process in therapeutic communities.
Nevertheless, families might also have an inverted role in this situation. According to recent researches, the environment that surrounds these adolescences represents a major influence in the usage of such substances.
- The pressure of closest friends or acquaintances
- The need for acceptance in a group
- Lack of family structure and bad family habits
These elements reinforce the idea that family is indeed involved in the development of its members. As a matter of fact, family factors have come to stand out as possible elements – either of risk or protection. One believes that the existence of rules and boundaries within the family will be a crucial element so that youngsters assume responsibility for their actions and choices.
Regarding the initiation age and the consumed substances, numbers point towards alcohol and smoking as early choices. Speaking now about illicit drugs, cannabis is the prime choice for initiation. The group age for initiation in these substances is around 12 and 16 years old.
With morbidity and mortality rates showing more and more alarming figures worldwide, one can say that initiation consequences – as well as psychoactive substances premature consumption – suggest future deep thoughts and analysis about the topic. Furthermore, the study of these numbers desperately cries out for preventive measures in (very) early phases so that one can prevent the progress of the problem from reaching a higher level.