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Go Ask Alice Essay

1771 words - 8 pages

The beginning of puberty marks the start of adolescence. Adolescence is considered to be the transitional stage from childhood to adulthood. During this period, teens begin to undergo a series of psychological and physiological changes which usually occurs between the ages of twelve through nineteen. This can be a time of both discovery and confusion. During this stage, issues regarding self-identity and independence will surface. Many adolescents are faced with difficult choices involving drugs, alcohol, schoolwork, sexuality, their social life and relationship with their parents. Peer groups, romantic interests and external appearance tend to increase in importance for some time during a ...view middle of the document...

Erickson’s psychosocial stages illustrate the conflicts that take place within the ego and in society/culture. In observing his stages, Alice falls under the fifth stage known as ego identity versus role confusion. In this stage the adolescent undergoes physical changes and reexamines their identity to find out who they really are. As Alice becomes more independent and begins to look at her future she struggles with finding a sense of belonging. She also despises the changes in her body and fluctuations in her weight. She is incredibly self-conscious and obsesses over her weight. She fails to establish a sense of identity in her environment which causes role confusion. Role confusion involves the individual not being sure about themselves or their place in society just as Alice exhibits. As a response to this confusion an adolescent may begin to experiment with different lifestyles. Things begin to look up when Beth enters Alice’s life; the two become fast friends. However, when Beth leaves for summer camp Alice spends a few weeks with her grandparents. This is where her descent to drugs begins.
An old friend of Alice, Jill, invites her to a party. During the party, the teens play a game called “button, button, where is the button?” A soft drink is handed to each of the participants and one of them is laced with a drug. Alice unwittingly takes LSD and experiences a "beautiful" drug trip. This experience gave Alice curiosity about drugs however; she vowed to never take them again. Alice tries to convince herself that she will stay away from drugs. Conflicted with her emotions, Alice struggles with making the decision of whether or not to enter the new world of drugs. What started out as strolls into newfound lands, soon turned into her entire world. Alice begins to experiment with more drugs and ends up losing her virginity while on acid. A wave of guilt washes over her. She doesn't know who she can talk to bout drugs.
When Alice returns home she is unable to sleep. Her doctor prescribes powerful tranquilizers. She begins to exhibit symptoms of a substance abuse disorder with prescription and non-prescription drugs. Alice uses more then she expected to use and is constantly trying to cut back but fails to do so. She neglects her responsibilities and spends more time trying to obtain any kind of drug she can get her hands on.
Still in search of someone she can express herself to, Alice meets Chris and they are both displeased with their environment and families. Soon, the two become best friends. At school, they use drugs and become popular. Chris's friend Richie, a college boy, turns Alice on to marijuana. The THC in marijuana increases a person’s level of dopamine and affects how the brain makes it. The increased level in THC makes it more likely for someone to become addicted to it. A marijuana user can suffer from lack of motivation, short term memory loss, and so on. Despite Alice’s efforts to stop doing drugs she is still pulled into...

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