SOC 3750 Chapter Notes - Chapter 9: Peer Pressure, Novelty Seeking, Psychopharmacology

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Published on 20 Apr 2013
School
University of Guelph
Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 3750
Professor
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Chapter 9
Issues of substance abuse and related crime in adolescence
Canadians rank in the top 50 in the world in alcohol consumption
substance abuse- excessive, unhealthy use of a substance such as alcohol, tobacco, or illicit
drugs
early prevention can prevent future harm and cost
drugsnot4me - drug campaign in Canada targeting youth
Substance Abuse among Canadian Youth
arguably at epidemic level
use has decreased among youth in recent years
the majority of youth do not report bad drug behaviours
the only drugs that had a rate of life time use greater than 10% was prescription drugs
Alcohol Use
most common substance used by youth
Tobacco use
youth that are continuous smokers generally have had their first at 15 or younger
Illicit drug use
exception of marijuana - not very common
26% admitted to using marijuana
experimentation occurs in adolescence, but the majority of illicit drug use occurs later in life
Inherent Challenges of measuring Adolescence drug use
street involved youth - a heterogeneous population of youth between ages 12 and 24 who lack
adequate shelter and are considered to live outside the mainstream youth population
these youth are not usually included in drug use surveys - only kids attending school
focusing only on mainstream youth may be ineffective because most of the susceptibility lies
within most at risk populations
Reasons youth use drugs and alcohol
For pleasure
youth associate drugs with pleasurable social experiences
As a result of peer pressure
youths hold inaccurate views on their peers drug use, and can then take part because they are
trying to fit in
believe not taking part would be more socially detrimental
it may influence a youth trying drugs or alcohol, but the interplay between social and personal
choices becomes more complex when youth decide whether or not to continue - doesn't
necessarily lead to continued use
As a means of coping
can result in continued use - person might try it, get excitement, but simply use it to cope with
life stressors
Potential Negative effects of adolescence substance abuse
consequences of impairment
accidents and self induced injuries were among the most common causes of alcohol and illegal
drug related hospital visits and death in Canada
not that large for youth = under 1% - gets bigger as you age
General Health Risks
depending on the type of substance, and the method of administration (how it enters the body)
- substance abuse can have serious health effects
death - 8000ish for alcohol, 1700 for illegal drugs, and 37 000 for tobacco
smoking usually leads to issues with the lungs
it's important to make note of which methods are more dangerous
Psychological health risks
adolescences brains may be more vulnerable because they are still developing
early substance abusers may be more vulnerable to early onset long term cognitive impairment,
mental illness, and addiction
psychosis was the most common causes of psychiatric hospitalization
drug users may be at a higher risk of psychosis
higher levels of co-morbidity of substance abuse and mental health problems have been found
in adolescences, similar to the numbers found in adults
Addiction
only 8.8 % of aged 15 and over are considered probably or highly probable for alcohol
dependence
and only 0.8 were considered dependent for illicit drugs
lots of stigma in drug addiction
Adolescent substance abuse and the link to criminal behaviour
tobacco smoking is most common among offender populations
more than half of offenders were intoxicated by illicit drugs, alcohol, or both during the
commission of the most serious crimes
the vast majority that use drugs and alcohol do not become involved with the law
Drug-crime model discussed but Goldstein - suggesting that drug use causes crime through
three distinct modes : 1) psychopharmacological , 2) economic compulsive, 3) systemic
the first - refers to the idea that intoxicating effects of the substances change a persons
behaviour in such a way that causes that person to act out and break rules
second - economic compulsive - some drug users commit crime to support their drug use
third - systemic - the nature of the drug market requires users and dealers to commit crime to
protect their territory, themselves, maintain supply, and retrieve debts
only the first two relevant when considering youth
Adolescent crime caused by impairment
property crime, public disorder, violent offences - often linked to alcohol in adolescences
alcohol limits inhibitions, so can result in crime
alcohol was statistically significantly related to violent offences but cocaine wasn’t
- likely confounding variables that causes substance abuse and crime together
drug recognition expert (DRE) evaluation - to test the potentially impaired drivers for signs of
drug intoxication
victimization may also occur more often because youth may become easier targets when drunk
or intoxicated
alcohol intoxication is strongly related to rapes
Adolescent crime resulting from the search for drugs
second part of goldsteins model - economic - youth consume less expensive drugs because they
do not have the money
half of all drug or alcohol dependent inmates committed their most serious crime to get drugs
Youth involvement in Drug crimes
most common for youth were charges of possession, followed by trafficking , and then
production
drug offences tend to be the result of proactive police work
youth made up 19% of all people accused of drug offences
most marijuana - 24%
of youth accused, only 38% went forward with charges
Possessing drugs and alcohol
may lead to use
police can detect only a fraction of offences
come across underage users by simple visual cues, or other suspicious behaviour
Selling Drugs
adolescents have a higher likelihood of using illicit drugs than adults do provides an opportunity
for some youth to get involved in distribution
most often buy drugs from friends
those who sell drugs are usually users
drug selling more common in people involved in crime in other areas
Producing and Trafficking Drugs
youth fill a niche inaccessible to adults - like at schools
youth are usually employed under major players in organized crime to sell lower levels- as
sitters (people payed to watch the plants)
youth also used to smuggle drugs
youth who produce or help in the production usually also use - believe it to be not harmful
Strategies to prevent adolescent substance abuse
most are implemented at school - yet it neglects those most at risk
effective strategies include: building a strong framework, striving for accountability,
understanding and involving young people, and creating an effective process
School based interventions
most abusers tend to start early - school age is appropriate
most effective are when youth are taught resistance skills, and learn about the social influences
of substance use

Document Summary

Issues of substance abuse and related crime in adolescence. Canadians rank in the top 50 in the world in alcohol consumption substance abuse- excessive, unhealthy use of a substance such as alcohol, tobacco, or illicit drugs. Early prevention can prevent future harm and cost. Drugsnot4me - drug campaign in canada targeting youth. Use has decreased among youth in recent years the majority of youth do not report bad drug behaviours the only drugs that had a rate of life time use greater than 10% was prescription drugs. Youth that are continuous smokers generally have had their first at 15 or younger. Exception of marijuana - not very common. Experimentation occurs in adolescence, but the majority of illicit drug use occurs later in life. Youth associate drugs with pleasurable social experiences. Youths hold inaccurate views on their peers drug use, and can then take part because they are trying to fit in.