Crime, Drugs and Poverty; the New Children of Today
Introduction to Human Services Counseling
October 11, 2015
There is a link between drugs, crime and poverty in adolescents today. This paper discusses each
problem an adolescent faces in every day life and how they merge together to make the new
children of today. Drugs, crime and poverty can have a long and lasting effect on any one but
when an adolescent has to overcome these obstacles just to grow up and survive, it makes it
almost impossible. Adolescents are the future leaders of our world and we need to be able to
understand their problems and ...view middle of the document...
To an average person, this is a list of some recognizable names of drugs that have been around for many years. If the average person looked at K2 and did not know what it was, they would think it was potpourri that they could simmer and smell. To a kid growing up in today’s society, they know they can smoke it and get almost the same high that they would if they had smoked marijuana. The difference is K2 is an herb almost like potpourri that is treated with different chemicals that can make someone very sick. So many different kinds of drugs and so many different reasons for kids to try them.
Kids use drugs out of boredom and for pure enjoyment. One of the reasons that were given
many years ago by pre-teen children would have been peer pressure. We have done so many
things to discuss and discourage kids from using drugs because their peers do that it has led to an
increase in other reasons (McIntosh, MacDonald, & McKeganey, 2005, p. 254). Adolescent
substance abuse is a national public health problem with serious health and economic
consequences. So many kids are experimenting with drugs at earlier ages than ever before.
Recent information provided by a study estimates that 53% of adolescents have experimented
with illegal drugs by the time they graduated from high school. It also estimates that 32% have
experimented by eighth grade (Gordon, Kinlock, & Battjes, 2004, p. 40). Drug use leads to
many problems for kids including criminal behavior, mental health, truancy from school, early
sexual behavior and overall behavioral problems (Gordon et al., 2004, p. 41).
Pre-teen and teenage adolescents who use drugs or alcohol are having sex, getting pregnant,
committing illegal offences and having problems in school (Gordon et al., 2004, p. 42). Twenty
seven percent of high school drop outs smoke marijuana and an even greater number used
prescription drugs (Gordon et al., 2004, p. 44). Pregnancy rates among adolescents have risen
also. In 2014, there were over 500,000 babies born in the United States to women ages 14-18
(Lewitt, Termin, & Behrman, 1997, p. 60). Becoming a parent at such a young age can stunt
their growth in school and can lead to problems in the justice system and lack of employment
opportunities. Self-medication plays a large part in the use of illegal drugs.
Some adolescents use illegal drugs and alcohol to self-medicate themselves for mental health
problems. The use of these drugs, at times, can help with depression, anxiety, ADHD and a host
of others. Some of the drugs and alcohol can have a calming effect; some can allow the child’s
anxiety to decrease in certain situations and they can even allow a child to focus more in school.
These drugs give the kids a false sense of security and help but they are also becoming addicted
to them which adds a whole other problem. Once the child starts using the drugs and alcohol