Culture and substance abuse paper


Substance abuse is common among the youth. Young adults influence each other in making decision about drug abuse. Taking drugs make them fit in the life of their peers. Popular cultures among the youth guide them in making wrong decisions like taking drugs.  In this culture there are influences that come with the media and television representation. The celebrities that the young people watch on televisions have patterns of drug abuse alcoholism, and sexually deviant behavior.  All these are contributing to behavior problems among the teenagers or young adults.

Once the teenagers or young adults engage in drug taking, they develop behavior problems. They become deviant and engage in behaviors such as teenage sex, robberies, dropping out of school and poor relationships with the family and the society at large. Substance abuse is related to criminal behaviors among the youth.  As a result, they are subjected to juvenile justice system or adolescent treatment system. This is to try helping them recover from their addiction to drugs.

Substance abuse among the youth calls for intervention of juvenile justice system.  Juvenile justice system is concerned with rehabilitation rather than punishment. This system is linked to adolescent treatment system. Adolescents with varying degree of substance use are found in United States.  Once they are identified, they are placed in different interventions that help them recover from their behaviors of taking drugs. Adolescent treatment systems ensure that youths that are using drugs are help to overcome this habit. The same case happens in the juvenile system. Therefore, one system may identify youths under substance abuse and refer them to the other system (Mulvey et al, 2010).

Substance abuse has been in the increase in many societies.  There are increased rates of substance use disorders that require the juvenile system provide treatment for these disorders.  In treating these disorders, there is need for proper planning.  According to Chassin (n.d), in treatment of the juvenile offenders, there is need for clinical examination. Drug abuse is linked to negative effects that include smoking, risky sexual behaviors, violence, occupational and psychological outcomes. There are health problems that develop as a result of substance abuse. Therefore, juvenile offenders need to be screened for drug abuse, mental disorders and other health problems. Once this is done, they can be referred to the best programs that will help them recover or treated easily.  For instance, they will be placed in programs that treat those who are dependent on drugs or mentally ill. They will also be referred to programs that will treat or prevent HIV as needed (Evans et al, 2012).

In treating youths with substance use problem, there are difficulties involved in engaging the hard to reach adolescents populations.  Hard to reach adolescents are those not engaged in intervention services. There are different factors that contribute to adolescents becoming hard to reach.  Father or son is an aspect whereby adolescents that are hard to reach are abandoned by their fathers. This affects these male children and they become angered.  They are numb to their feelings because of this anger they had in their past. This becomes difficult for them to open up to counseling services.  This also makes them engage in substance abuse. Engaging these adolescents becomes difficult because the bitterness they have (Chassin, n.d). In another instance, depression and anxiety disorders make it difficult to engage the hard to reach adolescent populations. Depressed adolescents lack capacity to feel and feel that they do not have hope. This could be as a result of abandonment, and being discourage to crying when in difficult situations. They suppress emotions and as a result become depressed.  They therefore have the attitude that they do not want to talk about their problems. They experience anger, rage, violence and substance abuse.  They become difficult to reach because their under the masks (Evans et al, 2012).


Substance abuse is a problem experienced by adolescents because it is part of the youth culture. The teenagers are influenced by their peers and celebrities they see on televisions. This becomes a problem to them as they engage in unwanted behaviors such as teenage sex, poor performance in school, robbery and poor relationships with others. Substance abuse can lead to addictions and mental illnesses that require treatment. Juvenile justice system offers intervention services that help treat these adolescents.  This helps them recover from their bad behaviors and live a healthy life.