Teen Drug Use in the United States
Drug abuse among teens has become a major issue in recent years. Drug use in the United States alone is much higher then any other industrialized place in the world. There are so many drugs available to anyone who wants them. More and more are being developed all the time. Certain drugs have tremendous effects on the people who use them. Many teens experimental drug usage leads to addiction. Many types of drugs effect the user in so many ways. Depending on social and family standings in an individual's life, the chance of becoming addicted to the many drugs available on the streets of our nation can really depend on personal circumstances.
There are so many drugs with so many different effects that are used by Americaís youth across the country. Anything from Marijuana to cocaine, and many more. These drugs have certain psychoactive effects on the brain, which is one key factor towards addiction. No matter what type of drug an adolescent may use, depending on the drugís nature, can really effect the individual in many different and unique ways.
Depressants for instance, as well as stimulants, effect the central nervous system and the brain by blocking the nervous tissue. Some common depressants include any type of sleeping medication, anti-depressants, marijuana, and inhalants. These drugs are known to relax you. They put you in a mild comfortable stage of euphoria. Stimulants may include anything from cocaine to any sort of amphetamines; and to a much lesser degree, caffeine as well as nicotine. These types of drugs stimulate nervous tissue in the brain and central nervous system unlike depressants, which do the exact opposite. Yet both types of drugs alter your physical and mental condition.
Cannabis for example, is the most common and widely used drug in the United States by teens. The drug is most commonly referred to as marijuana. This is most definitely the most common depressant used by teens. Marijuanaís main psychoactive effect is caused by THC, the chemical in the plant that has been smoked by native Americans for many types of religious and spiritual ceremonies.
One very common drug that is used widely with teens is inhalants. Inhalants can be most commonly described as some form of a depressant. Inhalants consist of gasoline, modeling glue, lighter fluids, spray paints, nail polish, white out, and anything else that can be inhaled containing hydrocarbons. Some younger children experiment with these types of inhalants due to the fact that they mostly consist of household items. The most common methods of using inhalants is either soaking a rag with the toxic chemical and then inhaling it, or breathing it in through a paper bag. This drug is very dangerous and the high doesnít last very long. Inhaling the fumes is an extremely easy way to kill off brain cells and damage brain tissue. Common addicts of inhalants use on weekends, and usually after school; usually getting high several times a week or more.
An example of amphetamines or uppers, would be anything from Cocaine to something as harmless as a cup of coffee. Cocaine, crack, crank, speed, as well as prescription drugs such as Aderol or Ritalin can have similar effects to uppers. These types of drugs cause an elevation in the userís mood. The user feels very alert and usually doesnít have much of an appetite. Anxiety as well as irritability is common with people addicted to these drug sorts. One thing that many people donít realize is that addicts canít tell the difference between cocaine and other types of amphetamines.
Another popular and common form of drugs is known as hallucinogens. These drugs actually alter the individual's modes of common perception. Amazingly, this drug type actually causes the user to be able to experience thoughts or feelings. This can usually only be experienced while dreaming, yet the user can visually experience these things while using these types of drugs. This specific drug type is pretty hard to classify. Some stimulants cause these types of effects, such as cocaine. The most common and popular form of hallucinogens is known as LSD ( lysergic acid diethylamide). This common street drug is easy to get and quite popular among teens. These drugs have more common names such as acid, tabs, etc.
The state in which this effect occurs is known as the psychedelic state. During this state of mind, vivid sensory feelings can be experienced. The user can sometimes see and feel colors or sounds. The user is convinced that they have reached an unreal sense of clarity. The individual's perception is so much clearer; the entire process of the drug usually lasts about twelve hours. This is one thing that makes this drug so unique, other then itís other explained characteristics.
Hallucinogens are actually very well known to have quite permanent effects on an individual in the long run. For instance, multiple users are known to acquire many different symptoms while not actually even using the drug. Delusional disorder, mood disorder, and flashback disorder. Flashbacks occur when a user is set back in a trance of a previous high. This particular symptom occurs with around twenty-five percent of users.
The last and most uncommon type of drug used by teens is known as Phencyclidine; or more commonly known as PCP. This drug is hard to classify, and causes a wide range of effect on an individual. A lot of the time the user may not remember the episode in which he had used the drug. The user can become strangely violent; speech is often slurred, and may even see dramatic change in their body image. Just one tiny dose of PCP can cause these effects. Repeated usage of this drug can cause the user to go into a state of coma with their eyes still open, depending on the individual tolerance and amount of PCP the user takes; the coma can be permanent. Usually the user is unable to feel pain until they come off of their state of delusions.
Depending on age and the individuals cultural background, as well as the way in which they were raised, can dramatically effect the teens chance of becoming an addict opposed to being a social user. The vast majority of teens have not fully developed either physically or emotionally. Many teens are considered to be well adjusted within society, and have a pretty relaxed and laid back relationship with their family. Many teens feel confident in themselves and are happy with, as well as comfortable with their sexuality and physical body image. This group believes that they can succeed in society and have a true sense of determination.
Other teens, which are more likely to fall into the trap of addiction, are usually the ones who may have some serious issues with themselves and their immediate surroundings. These adolescents usually have involvement with divorce, psychotherapy, and usually are not completely happy with themselves or their emotions. They begin to use drugs in order to fit in with their peer group. The use of various chemicals help them feel comfortable with themselves at the time.
As the disease develops further the teen begins to rebel and act out in school, and at home. Many times their grades suffer dramatically and they stop caring about anything, including themselves and their immediate family. It is not uncommon for the teen to get in trouble with the law and begin to experiment with more dangerous drugs. They no longer have much of a purpose aside from getting high. Close friends become distant as they begin to develop non-trustworthy friends for the soul purpose of using drugs. When the person continues to use drugs persistently; depression as well as lowered self worth occurs. If the individual continues to use it can usually lead to being institutionalized and/or death.