But at no time in history has there been such grave concern-from heads of state to the average citizen over the epidemic nature of drug abuse and the insidious social and financial consequences of illicit trafficking. What then is a drug?
This blog is a resource for people seeking addiction and recovery information and inspiration, and the latest Turnbridge news and events. Between the ages of 8 and 22, girls become young women. In these years, they are maturing both physically and mentally. They are forming their identity, a sense-of-self, and self-worth.
Unfortunately, adolescence and young adulthood are also times of great susceptibility.
Girls are transitioning from middle school to high school, and for the first time, are experiencing many social pressures, physical changes, and stronger desires to fit in. A recent study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University revealed that girls and young women commonly initiate substance abuse during these crucial years.
Often, their reasons for trying drugs are tied to the stress and pressures experienced in this transitional period. Sometimes, the causes of drug use in young women are rooted much deeper. The study proved that the reasons for early drug use among females are very pronounced in young womanhood and widely different than the causes of drug abuse among young men.
The study also showed that females, on average, actually become dependent faster and suffer the consequences of drugs sooner than males.
Even more, young women are at greater risk of drug abuse and addiction. Why do girls and young women use drugs in adolescence? What are the risk factors for drug use in females? And what steps can we, as parents and educators, take to prevent it?
The following seven factors are the leading causes of drug abuse in girls and young women.
Depression and Mental Illnesses Depression in adolescent girls is not uncommon. Over one-third of high school girls reports regular feelings of sadness or hopelessness. These girls are likelier than boys to consider Substance abuse and mental illnesses such as depression often go hand-in-hand.
Young women who are depressed and suicidal often self-medicate with drugs of abuse, increasing their risk of drug addiction. History of Trauma Among all adolescents in drug treatmentnearly twice as many girls as boys report sexual or physical abuse in their lifetime.
Girls who have been physically or sexually abused are also twice as likely to smoke, drink, and use drugs than those who were not abused in childhood. Stress and Inability to Cope While males tend to externalize their stress with aggression and delinquency, females have a tendency to internalize their reactions to stress.
In most cases of severe stress, young women become depressed and withdrawn. According to the survey, 41 percent of young women report their inability to cope with stress as the main reason for using drugs.
Stressful life events may include a death or illness in family or friends, parental divorce, changes in school or relationships, and moving from home to home. Low Self-Esteem Low self-confidence frequently accompanies the teenage years. This is especially true among girls.
Body-image and social image are often top priorities for high school girls who want to fit in. They associate weight loss with beauty and popularity.
They associate drinking, drug use, and smoking with being sexy, trendy, and cool.
They believe that drugs are the answer to their problems. Teenage girls with low self-confidence are twice as likely as those with higher self-confidence to report drug use. Not only are high school girls more than double as likely to diet and engage in unhealthy weight-related behaviors than boys, but they are also more likely to use drugs or alcohol to try to control their weight.
Social Pressures One study found that many teenage girls initiate drug use to fit in with their peers. According to the report, the more friends a girl has who smoke, drink, or use drugs; the likelier she is to do so herself.
If five of her close friends drink alcohol, she is over seven times likelier to drink.Drug abuse can cause a variety of long-term problems for teens. The most severe consequence is death — whether it’s by overdose, traffic accidents, crime-related activity or other causes.
When left untreated, drug or alcohol addiction can cause potentially fatal health . Substance Abuse in Rural Areas Though often perceived to be a problem of the inner city, substance abuse has long been prevalent in rural areas. Rural adults have higher rates of alcohol abuse, tobacco use, and methamphetamine use, while prescription drug abuse and heroin use has grown in .
Gangs, drug trafficking, prostitution, and growing numbers of youth homicides are among the social and criminal justice problems often linked to adolescent substance abuse. The DUF study found the highest association between positive drug tests of male juvenile arrestees and their commission of drug-related crimes (e.g., sales, possession).
Drug abuse among teenagers continues to be a major problem in many societies all over the world. Everybody knows bad things can happen to drug users.
Instances of school dropouts, addiction, and teen violence continue to highlight the depth of the drug problem amongst teenagers. Over the past two decades, the abuse on prescription drugs amongst teenagers has grown tremendously. The growing use and abuse of prescription drugs is a major global health concern today and the real scale of this problem is unknown.
Lack of self-confidence, that is inferiority complex, has been marked as cause of one’s becoming a drug addict. Peer pressure, excessive stress, lack of parental involvement in child’s activities, are among the leading causes for drug addiction among youth and teen people.