Good Essay On Youth Campaign Against Drug Abuse In The US
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Research indicates that approximately 12.8 million American youths use illegal drugs; out of this number, approximately 6% are children aged 12 years and above (Swendsen et al, 2012). However, research has indicated that despite the fact that there has been a significant drop on the number of Americans who use illegal drugs, a significant number of children aged 12 years and above as well as a significant number of youths have made attempts to use drugs and substances (Swendsen et al, 2012). It is estimated that approximately 16 percent of youths aged between 16 and 17 years as well as 17% of youths aged between 18 years and 20 have been reported to drive under the effects of drugs and substances. The rate at, which youths aged between 12 years to 15 years smoke cigarettes has also risen from one percent to seven percent in the last three years (Swendsen et al, 2012). More than 17 percent of youths aged between 16 years and 18 years are currently reported to be addicted to smoking cigarettes. The main question that arises from these statistics is, what are the consequences associated with drug and substance abuse among youths?
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, there are various health and social challenges associated with drug and substance abuse among the youths. Some of the adverse challenges associated with drug and substance abuse among the youths include; lowered commitment to perform school duties i.e. high rates of school drop-outs, absenteeism, and declining performance as well as higher rates of truancy (Kaplan et al, 2014). Other challenges include; increased cases of homicide, drug-associated suicides, diseases i.e. cancer, accidental injuries and in some cases physical disabilities. It is the continuous occurrence of these drug related challenges among the youths despite various anti-drug campaign efforts that forms that basis of this campaign.
Significance of this Issue Locally and Globally
The youth are the foundation of the future generation; as such, it is important that they are provided with an appropriate platform for personal development. This platform should include proper education facilities and services, proper parental guidance, adequate and effective health services, proper social networks to enhance development of their personal skills and adequate opportunities for creativity. There are various obstacles that hinder effective development of the youth. One of these challenges is drug and substance abuse; it affects emotional, psychological and physical development processes among the youths in the United States of America and other parts of the world. Considering the fact that the youths are the foundation of future generation, it is important that concerned stakeholders i.e. the Food and Drug Administration, the World Health Organization et cetera, award this issue a high sense of priority.
In a research published by the Center for Disease Prevention and Control, some of the drugs that have had adverse impacts on development of the youths are; cocaine, cigarettes, alcohol among others. The use of these drugs among the youths has led to challenges such as; increased cases of teenage pregnancy, increased cases of homicide and physical injuries among affected youths, increased rates of transmission of sexually transmitted diseases among drug addict youths among others (CDC, 2012). According to the US Department of Health Services, the number of Americans that were struggling with drug use challenges as of 2005 was approximately 22 million; this number has since increased to 24.8 million. This is an indication of the magnitude of drug and substance abuse not only among the youths, but also all in the entire US population (Aggleton, Ball & Mane, 2014).
Globally, children and youths are considered the most vulnerable group to the current increased rates of illegal drug trade (McLoughlin, Gould, & Malone, 2015). The sub-Saharan Africa has been identified as one of the regions with a higher number youth population that is vulnerable to the current illegal drug industry (McLoughlin, Gould, & Malone, 2015). Other regions such as the Northern American region i.e. Mexico, Cuba and Argentina among others are also regarded as regions characterized by high level of illegal drug trade, increasing the vulnerability of many youths to drug and substance abuse consequences (McLoughlin, Gould, & Malone, 2015).
Taking into consideration the magnitude of the challenges governments, stakeholders and youths experience in regard to drug and substance abuse, this campaign is crucial as it will involve creating awareness and education among youths and concerned stakeholders on these challenges. Additionally, it will inform Youths and the general American population regarding mechanisms that they can apply to prevent drug abuse-related challenges.
Impacts of Drug Use among Youths in the US and other Global Regions
As aforementioned, drugs and substance abuse among youths in the United States have various negative impacts on the physical, emotional, social and psychological development aspects of children and youths. Research also indicates that the impacts of drug and substance abuse among teenagers, youths and children in the United States are cumulative in the sense that one challenge may lead to another (Monti et al, 2012). One of the challenges faced by youths engaged in drug and substance abuse in the United States is poor peer-relationships. The National Drug Institute of Drug Abuse has indicated that youths that suffer from drug and substance abuse problems may experience stigmatization from their peers as well as isolation; this has a negative impact on their emotional and psychological development (Monti et al, 2012). Depression, psychosocial disorders, developmental lags, suicidal thoughts, personality disorders and apathy are some of the risks associated with the use of drugs and substance abuse among youths; this impacts their social and emotional development processes (Kaplan et al, 2014). On the other hand, many families whose children are faced with drug and substance abuse in the United States are usually subjected to increased use of financial resources; a scenario that may lead to family financial constrains (Kaplan et al, 2014). There are also economic and social impacts that emerge as a result of drug and substance abuse. Monetary resources as well as emotional challenges facing youths due to the use of drug and substance abuse affect the community as a whole i.e. governments, families and other stakeholders are usually compelled to utilize significant amount of funds to provide assistance to the affected youths.
Health challenges are some of the main issues that are faced by youths engaged in drug and substance abuse (Aggleton, Ball & Mane, 2014). To begin with, research indicates that youths addicted to certain drugs i.e. cocaine are at an increased risk of contracting STD’s. Moreover, accidents caused by use of drugs and substances among the youth i.e. those youths driving under the influence of alcohol may lead to physical injuries and in some cases, death. On the other hand, youths may also experience mental and emotional challenges as a result of drug and substance abuse (Kaplan et al, 2014).
Aims, Activities and Outcomes of the Campaign
The aim of this campaign is to contribute to the past and current efforts that have been directed towards reducing drug and substance abuse among children and youths in the United States. This will be achieved through creating public awareness on the consequences of drug abuse among youths and mechanisms that can be applied to prevent these challenges.
Conducting public awareness campaign rallies; this activity will involve holding rallies in public places i.e. parks as a means of informing concerning drug use challenges among the youths and how their participation can facilitate reduction of this social menace
Providing Informative Fliers to the Public; The campaign shall also involve distributing informative fliers to the general public. These fliers will contain information related to the main agenda of the campaign, which will be challenges facing the youths as a result of drug abuse, why and how it has to be prevented.
Providing Public Talks in Various Learning Institutions; the campaign shall also engage in provision public talks in schools, colleges and universities regarding drug and substance abuse challenges among youths and why youths must come together to prevent it.
Increased public awareness on consequences of drug and substance abuse
Increased public motivation to educate others on effects of drug abuse among the youths and how they can prevent it
Enhanced public awareness regarding the mechanisms that can be applied to prevent drug and substance abuse
Analysis of the Impact Made with the Campaign
This advertisement presents a picture of black lungs. Such advertisements are usually used to create awareness concerning the effects of smoking on human lungs and the general human health. It is a crucial source of information that shall warn the youths concerning the consequences of smoking tobacco and other drugs that are smoked that impact lungs.
The advertisement presents a disturbing picture of a destroyed dental formula. This is one of the consequences of cigarette smoking. It basically creates awareness regarding the health consequences of smoking cigarettes, not only among the youth, but also in the entire global population. It is therefore an imperative advertisement that shall facilitate the efforts of the campaign process in increasing awareness of youths and the general population on the consequences of smoking cigarettes.
This is an anti-drug use advertisement. The picture used in this advertisement is quite disturbing indicating a lady before she engaged in the use drugs and afterwards. The advertisement is pertinent is it creates awareness in relation to the extent through, which the use of drug and substances can affect a person’s life. It is accompanied by a message that warns persons using drugs that the use of drugs and substances leads to a slow, but painful death. As such, youths are warned from using drugs and substances.
The above advertisement picture presents an image of a youth whose skin is adversely affected as a result of using heroin. The advertisement is imperative in the campaign process considering the fact that heroin is one of the min drugs that are currently abused by many youths. This advertisement shall basically inform the youth and the general public on the consequences associated with the use of heroin and the reasons why its use has to be stopped in the contemporary society.
This is an advertisement against the use of alcohol. It indicates that the society should be free of alcohol, which is one of the main forms of drugs abused within the society. The use of alcohol among youths has also been recognized as one of the main challenges in the contemporary society. This advertisement plays a significant role in creating awareness on the importance of the society on fighting consumption of alcohol among various members of the society.
This is a advertisement against the use of cocaine. It is based on the health consequences of cocaine, indicating that cocaine can make one blind. Other accompanying information in the advertisement is presented in a vague of in a manner that is less visible to the normal eye. This is an indication of the extent of eye visionary damage that may be caused by cocaine. This advertisement is crucial in the campaign process; it shall enhance the objectives of the campaign by increasing the awareness of the general public concerning the consequences of cocaine use and why its use must be stopped.
In this advertisement picture, users are presented with two images. One representing a person before she engaged in the use of drugs and substances and the second picture indicates the person after the use of drugs. The picture is also accompanied by a message indicating that youths and other members of the society should not le drugs ruin their lives. It urges all stakeholders to join efforts and prevent the trade or selling of drugs in their neighborhood.
Aggleton, P., Ball, A., & Mane, P.2014. Sex, drugs and young people: international perspectives. Routledge.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2012. CDC grand rounds: prescription drug overdoses-a US epidemic. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report, 61(1), 10.
Kaplan, S. J., et al. 2014. Adolescent physical abuse: risk for adolescent psychiatric disorders.
McLoughlin, A. B., Gould, M. S., & Malone, K. M. 2015. Global trends in teenage suicide: 2003-2014. QJM, hcv026.
Monti, P. M. et al.2012. Adolescents, alcohol, and substance abuse: Reaching teens through brief interventions. Guilford Press.
Swendsen, J. et al. 2012. Use and abuse of alcohol and illicit drugs in US adolescents: Results of the National Comorbidity Survey–Adolescent Supplement. Archives of general psychiatry, 69(4), 390-398.
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