Você está na página 1de 9

Plymel 1

Tryston Plymel ft9658


Dr. Beth Fowler
PS 1010 Discussion Section 523
24 March 2016
Community Efforts to Diminish Adolescent Substance Abuse
The effects of adolescent substance abuse can be detrimental and lifelong. While the
specific cause for teenagers reaching to drugs may be unknown, there are some theories that hold
true for many individuals. In several cases, adolescents sub come to the peer pressure and use
drugs to conform with their friends. Other teenagers do drugs to physically feel better; since
drugs interact with brain chemicals. For some individuals they want to have enhanced
performance, given that specific illegal substances can improve human intellect and athletic
ability. 1 The statistical estimate of how many adolescents will experience their first use of a drug
every day is staggering. For example, approximately 4,600 teenagers will use an illicit drug for
the first time nationwide. 2 Positively, the results of this issue has raised awareness to the
communities surrounding these teenagers, enabling them with the opportunities for help. These
include substance-prevention programs and summer camps focused on teaching teenagers how to
find happiness outside of drugs and alcohol. While adolescent substance abuse has a multitude of
1"Principles of Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment: A Research Based
Guide." National Institute of Drug Abuse. The Science of Drug Abuse and Addiction,
n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2016. <https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principlesadolescent-substance-use-disorder-treatment-research-based-guide/frequentlyasked-questions/why-do-adolescents-take-drugs>.
2 Sagall, Richard J., M.D., ed. "Teen Substance Abuse." ProQuest. N.p., May-June 2013. Web.
22Mar. 2016.

Plymel 2

reasons behind it, its damaging effects has resulted in the formation of community policies. By
aiming to help these teenagers both locally and in a private sphere, the community policies make
a successful impact on the lives of the adolescents involved.
The action of adolescents experimenting and becoming dependent upon illicit substances is
detrimental in a prospective time of their lives. In order to overcome the negative effects that
drug abuse causes in the lives of teenagers, many programs have been formed with aspirations of
ending these illegal actions. While these policies differ on their level of action and sphere of
structure, there is still no clear solution to this problem. Family and community based solutions
have grown in popularity and prove to be a positive influence in the lives of adolescent drug
abusers Research shows that family-based treatments are highly efficacious; some studies even
suggest they are superior to other individual and group treatment approaches. 3 In Family
Behavior Therapy (FBT) the therapists will work with adolescents, as well as the family
members, to improve behavioral strategies implemented through the community. By following
the behavior of the community and family, the therapist will have a better understanding of
structures surrounding the adolescent.3
To further overturn the undesirable outcomes that drugs implant in the lives of teenagers,
communities have privately come together to compose a resolution. The solution goes beyond
individual adolescents or parents. It requires community efforts. 4 An example of this is in Esko,
Minnesota where the local town of 1,300 people have assembled to fight against the heighted
drug and alcohol use in their teenagers. Prior to the policies of this plan ever being enacted, the
3 "Family-Based Approaches." Family-Based Approaches. National Institute on Drug
Abuse, n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.
4 Tevis, Cheryl. "Communities Wage War on Teen Substance Abuse." ProQuest. N.p.,
Oct. 1999. Web. 22 Mar. 2016.

Plymel 3

towns citizens had noticed a serious issue with the increase in the number of teenagers partaking
in illegal substances. The town analyzed the problem, brainstormed and determined its most
beneficial solution. 5 Next, it formed school programs with parent education, community task
forces and positive peer pressure and core elements. 4Additionally, another program located in
Illinois also focuses on a community and family based support system. The Gateway Treatment
Centers offer family counseling and education through in-patient and out-patient treatment
programs. 6 A further project with parallel policies as the two stated previously mentioned is the
Neighborhood Service Organization Youth Initiatives Project in Detroit. This program works on
an individual basis to empower young students to continue their education onto the college level.
This program hopes that by giving their members the confidence to continue their education,
they will not sub come to the pressures of drugs.7 These three programs implement similar
policies, incorporating family and community support on a local level to provide success to the
adolescents involved.
The efforts taken by the community members in Esko, Minnesota are making a major
impact are the residents that live in the small town, especially its youngest members. The specific
policy the towns members enacted to combat alcohol and drug use in the city go beyond the
programs administered in the school. Also, the citizens of Esko do character building activities
5 Kraft, Michael E., and Scott R. Furlong. "Public Problems and Policy Alternatives."
Public Policy: Politics, Analysis, and Alternatives 3rd (n.d.): 121-43. Washington DC.
CQ Press, 2010. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.
6 "Alcohol and Drug Treatment Programs for Teens." Alcohol and Drug Treatment for
Teens. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.
7 Lewis, Shawn D. "Mentors Help Detroit Boys Map Their Future." The Detroit News. N.p.,
2Feb. 2016. Web. 23 Mar. 2016. <http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/detroit
city/2016/02/12/detroit-male-mentoring-program/80291614/>.

Plymel 4

like camping and hiking together teens engaged in positive activities and are less likely to use
alcohol as a recreational drug. 4 Through these community engagements, the residents of Esko
hope that its teenagers will have a more open outlet to express themselves and therefore, not turn
to drugs as a representational outlet. In these programs, the adolescents and the senior members
of Esko fall into two distinct roles common in policy situations. The senior residents of Esko,
those that propose these policies and carry them out, act as the agents. In result, the teenagers fall
into the target population those who receive the benefits or who are the objects of the
government regulation.5 The town of Esko, Minnesota proposed an alternative substance abuse
program aimed at diminishing the number of adolescents who used illicit substances through
community and family engagement.
As previously stated, teen substance abuse has no clear solution and develops from a
multitude of causes. Although the statistical drug use in teen shifts yearly, a survey taken in 2014
stated that 27.2 percent of eighth, tenth and twelfth graders partook in illicit substances
combined. 8 The high statistics has led the concerned communities and families to develop
policies and implement programs to help resolve this issue. Even though, these organizations
lower the rate of drug use overall, many teens still struggle with substance abuse. A majority of
this comes from the structural barriers that often lead them to benefit from drugs originally.
Often, adolescents feel societal pressure from their peers to try drugs. Further, teenagers also
experience burdens to compete intellectually and athletically. In this way, adolescents are
compelled to meet the standards set by their team or school and use drugs to accomplish this.1
When analyzing these reasons behind teenagers partaking in drugs, a clear structural
8 "High School and Youth Trends." National Institute on Drug Abuse. The Science of
Drug Abuse and Addiction, n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.
<https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/high-school-youth-trends>.

Plymel 5

representation can be compiled. These individuals want to meet the expectations of their friends,
teammates or school mates set by the structural relationship around them.9 Therefore, they
participate in the act of using illegal substances in order to meet these standards.
The actions proposed by the residents of the small town in northeastern Minnesota led to
the formation of Project Northland. This organization is particularly targeted at middle school
student with a variety a skills training and activities that are both alcohol and drug free. Project
Northland has proved to be considerably successful Project Northland significantly reduced
alcohol use in 12 northern Minnesota school districts.4 Additionally, of the students who
entered 6th grade as nondrinkers and participated in Project Northland, only 15% drank in the
past month when surveyed in 8th grade, compared with 21% who were in the control group. 4
Despite, Project Northland being more focused on alcohol as an illegal substance for teens than
drugs, its message is still clear on how to prevent teenagers from partaking in these life-altering
actions prevention programs focus on developing kids social skills, teaching kids how to say
No and getting out the message that everybodys not doing it. 4 By implementing their
program on a community level, Project Northland was able to succeed in their aspirations of
lowering adolescent substance abuse.
The small town of Esko, Minnesota set out with high hopes to conquer teen drug abuse.
They citys residents were able to accomplish their goals within three years of Project
Northlands foundation. This organization takes a unique approach to the students that it
encounters, in this way, it can dissolve the structural barriers that assisted the issue originally.
When the agents of Esko took action and created character building groups for the target
9 Graham, Bob, and Chris Hand. "Introduction, Prologue, Chapter 1." America, the
Owner's Manual: Making Government Work for You. Washington, D.C.: CQ, 2010. 145. Print.

Plymel 6

population. These opportunities give the teenagers both the chance to build their character and
form bonds with authoritative figures in society. Subsequently, the adolescents will feel less
compelled to partake in drugs to please the peers of their society. These actions damage the
structural pressures felt by the teenagers. Additionally, having drug free activities incorporated in
the classroom setting also breaks the structures that pressures the students into doing the drugs.4
By having educational presentations against the use of drugs, students will feel less required to
do the drugs that the demonstrations are arguing against. Therefore, they will experience more of
an empowerment to say no to their friends, fracturing the structural barriers. The policies
performed by Esko, Minnesota and Project Northland are successful because of their ability to
break the structures that pressure the adolescents into partaking in illegal substances originally.
The effectiveness of Esko, Minnesota and Project Northland offers many valuable lessons
when moving forward to the next phase of the project. The residents of the communities acted
with a personal, private and individual look on the issue. Also, the members of the community
acted within their own area and only aimed to achieve what they know could be done. This
initiative is both reasonable and prosperous for a project that is intended to be completed in a
short period of time. On the other hand, Project Northlands results stated that the overall
viewpoint on substances in adults was not changed.4 This critical point is beneficial to recognize
as the project attempts to understand adolescent substance abuse in Detroit. From this, it can be
understood that although success was accomplished overall, perspectives for some individuals is
never changed. The project started in Esko, Minnesota was such an accomplishment that it
fronted another policy to begin Project Northland, another achievement for the state. These two
successes can explain a multitude of essential concepts for the group project. These include to
look at Detroit on a personal and individual level, and to design a plan that is guaranteed to be

Plymel 7

completed. Finally, in Project Northlands imperfections it can be learned, even though, a plan is
success, it does not come without its faults.
Adolescent substance abuse has proven to be a harmful issue with a multitude of cause,
detrimental side effects and no clear solution. The origins of this problem can be found within
the structures of the societies that surround the teenagers. Through successful policies these
structures can be fractures. Once they are implemented through programs, like Project
Northland, a successful outcome can be seen. Project Northland was founded because of the
communalized, personal and individual work performed by the agents in Esko, Minnesota.
Although, the organization was not perfect, its accomplishments taught valuable lessons for
those looking to execute similar tasks related to substance abuse in adolescents. The programs
gained their success through their individual work in the private sphere and were able to
positively help the adolescents involved.

Plymel 8

Works Cited
"Alcohol and Drug Treatment Programs for Teens." Alcohol and Drug Treatment for Teens.
N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.
"Family-Based Approaches." Family-Based Approaches. National Institute on Drug Abuse, n.d.
Web. 23 Mar. 2016.
Graham, Bob, and Chris Hand. "Introduction, Prologue, Chapter 1." America, the Owner's
Manual: Making Government Work for You. Washington, D.C.: CQ, 2010. 1-45. Print.
"High School and Youth Trends." National Institute on Drug Abuse. The Science of Drug Abuse
and Addiction, n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.
<https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/high-school-youth-trends>.
Kraft, Michael E., and Scott R. Furlong. "Public Problems and Policy Alternatives." Public
Policy: Politics, Analysis, and Alternatives 3rd (n.d.): 121-43. Washington DC. CQ Press,
2010. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.
Lewis, Shawn D. "Mentors Help Detroit Boys Map Their Future." The Detroit News. N.p., 2
Feb. 2016. Web. 23 Mar. 2016. <http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/detroit
city/2016/02/12/detroit-male-mentoring-program/80291614/>.
"Principles of Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment: A Research Based Guide."
National Institute of Drug Abuse. The Science of Drug Abuse and Addiction, n.d. Web.

Plymel 9

22 Mar. 2016. <https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-adolescent-substanceuse-disorder-treatment-research-based-guide/frequently-asked-questions/why-doadolescents-take-drugs>.


Sagall, Richard J., M.D., ed. "Teen Substance Abuse." ProQuest. N.p., May-June 2013. Web. 22
Mar. 2016.
Tevis, Cheryl. "Communities Wage War on Teen Substance Abuse." ProQuest. N.p., Oct.
1999.Web. 22 Mar. 2016.