Posted: June 22nd, 2022

PHA2022 Drugs And Society

Question:

Discuss the Causes and Correlations of Adolescent Drug Use.

Answer:

Teens are at high risk of using illicit drugs and substance abuse.

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This is the main reason why youths are more likely to use drugs early.

The early onset and persistence of drug use is linked to depression, anxiety, psychosis, low academic achievement, and depression among youth.

This harm and risk to youth populations makes it necessary to examine how policies and programs that were implemented to prevent early drug onset in youths have reduced the risk factors for drug abuse (Modesto Lowe et.al.

This essay examines the effectiveness of this program as well as preventive strategies to identify strengths and weaknesses.

This evaluation is used to recommend possible improvements to current strategies that delay the onset or emergence of drug dependence.

Preventative Strategies to Youth Drug Onset: Educational Programmes

Early intervention is crucial to minimize the risk and costs associated with young drug-using youths. Therefore, it is imperative to review education programs in Australia for youths.

A review of school-based programs for preventing the use of alcohol and other drugs revealed that it had harm minimization goals and primarily used the principle or cognitive behaviour therapy.

Youth were taught how to resist external pressure and build coping skills by using this approach.

CBT was used by school children to change their negative thinking and behaviour patterns.

The CLIMATE program, which is for alcohol and cannabis, was mixed with other programs such as SHAHRP or Life Education. Greenhouse project, Resilient Family Intervention and Greenhouse project.

CLIMATE and SHAHRP have significant effects on reducing risks, but the greenhouse projects and other programs did not show any significant results.

These interventions were able to be implemented via computer-delivery. This was their main strength.

This allowed for a lower cost in recruitment and training of educators and provided consistent information delivery.

But, schools with a low level of internet-based prevention were less effective and teachers who failed to adapt the program to specific schools’ needs were not as efficient (Teesson, et al.

To promote effectiveness, it is imperative that the school’s resource be developed to offer an online-based educational program.

The educational program’s key teachings should be supported by evidence (Bonomo, Bowes 2001).

Given that the evaluation showed that there was a lack in resources for computer-based programs, this section evaluates the efficacy of universal computer-based Climate School psychostimulants and the cannabis module.

Students were randomly assigned to either the computer-based Climate schools program or the usual health classes group in the random controlled study.

Climate was designed to reduce harm through social influence.

Climate Schools’ impact on school children was to reduce pro-drug attitudes due to increased awareness of the effects of cannabis and psychostimulants.

This resulted in a decrease in the frequency of children trying out drugs.

Children in climate school groups were more likely to use cannabis less often than those who receive usual drug education.

Computer-based delivery has the advantage of a cartoon story that stimulated interest and helped children recall information.

One drawback of Climate School is that it did not reduce the desire for youths to use meth/amphetamine, but it was not able to sustain this intention for a longer period (Vogl and al.

It is important to maintain ongoing intervention in a regular and sequential manner to ensure long-term prevention and knowledge.

Children can bring their own laptops to school, which will increase its feasibility.

The Climate Schools, All Stars, Project ALERT and All Stars were the most successful in producing positive results for students.

Other programs were not as effective due to poor quality research and inconsistent approach.

Programs that showed good results included those which used multiple peer-reviewed publications to support the program’s success (Roche et.al.

Similar findings were made in the UK regarding primary school drug education. It was found that there is no way to measure its impact, as it takes a long time to understand true effects.

According to the study, programs that are long-term focused and intense on their goals, and that employ interacting teaching styles and a wider community to help reduce early drug abuse are likely to be successful (Lloyd et.al.

According to the review, the best alcohol education program depends on having access to effective resources. This includes training staff in how to effectively adapt the program in schools.

It is essential that the program has a strong support network to ensure its success. For example, collaboration with local communities and families to promote cultural change and reinforce prevention messages at the family, community and individual levels.

Policies: Preventative Strategies to Youth Drug Onset

The National Drug Strategy is one of Australia’s policies to reduce substance use, harm and risk.

This was an supply reduction and harm reduction strategy that sought to stop illicit drug supply, reduce harm from drug-related harms to people and prevent their uptake.

The Australian National Drug Strategic Framework was established in 2004. It provided a balanced approach to decreasing the demand and supply of drugs.

In addition to monitoring and evaluation, the policy was also focused on research and other preventative measures. (National Drug Strategy 2017 – National Drug Strategic Framework 2017).

The national policy was designed to create an evidence-based prevention strategy by strategically mapping the system and pathways that are connected with risk factors and outcomes.

Because it was dependent upon extensive reviews of scientific literature, the strategy was effective in implementing corrective actions to benefit the community.

A lot of research was done on all aspects of the effectiveness of different risk and safety models, cost-effectiveness and effectiveness of alcohol and drug intervention, legal status, early use patterns and their effects on families and individuals (Butler 2005).

The policy’s effectiveness is evident.

These developments and actions can be used as a guide for public policy to reduce youth drug use.

To fully benefit from the protection and risk reduction approach to preventing drug use, it is important to invest in early childhood development.

A lot of young adults and adolescents use cannabis.

This drug is only used intermittently by young adults until the age 20. They are only allowed to experiment for a short time and few go on to regular long-term use.

Due to the high rate of lifetime use by females from 1995 to 2000, there was a strong campaign to stop this practice.

To make harm reduction a policy goal it was necessary to have harm reduction as a primary goal. Strategies that could reduce drug-related harm must also be planned.

One of the problems with the strategy of harm-reduction is the lack of longitudinal research that looked at adverse health effects. This delayed causal inferences.

Second, explicit harm reduction was hindered by the immoral policy and drug legislation reform.

This is an issue that has been widely discussed in raising awareness on harm reduction for cannabis.

Regular cannabis use can cause the most severe chronic side effects, such as cognitive impairment, respiratory distress, and marijuana dependence syndrome. Acute use can lead to psychological problems like paranoia, panic attacks, dysphoria, and psychosis.

The high-risk group of adolescents who are most at risk for the adverse effects of cannabis use include cognitive impairment, respiratory distress, and cannabis dependence syndrome. It is important to consider legal consequences of youths using cannabis to prevent these negative effects (Swift.

To avoid causing further harm, it is necessary to strike a compromise between harm reduction efforts and acceptable public messages.

It is important to be realistic and flexible in order to achieve positive results.

The strategy should include the most recent research findings to decrease harm to society’s health and well-being.

There are many arguments about the application of the harm reduction approach to adolescent settings.

Due to opposing views regarding legalization or zero tolerance of certain drugs, this debate continues.

The zero tolerance approach isn’t ethically right because an abrupt ban or disruption could also be harmful to addicted individuals or youths.

Zero tolerance advocates total prohibition of drug use.

However, legalization and decriminalization means that the criminal penalties for possession and sale are lifted.

Many people oppose these steps because they will lead to increased drug use among youths (Bonomo, Bowes 2001).

These two extreme issues can be balanced by implementing two types of harm reduction strategies.

One strategy might focus on reducing the harms of drug users, while the other could be targeted at those who are most vulnerable to drug use.

Education campaigns about safely injecting drugs can reduce blood-borne infection. Educational strategies on social context can be used to inform young children about the risks of using these drugs during their developmental stage.

This would be a reasonable and pertinent approach to prevent drug-related harm and provide better response.

Recommendation to improve program or strategies to current program and strategies:

A review of current programs and strategies to delay the age at which drugs become addictive was done. Weaknesses in our approach led to poor public response and wide-ranging issues at the local level.

Some programs are highly effective at integrating the right resources to decrease drug use. However, some programs fail because they lack the infrastructure and training required to implement them.

This problem was mostly seen in educational programs at school level.

Although Climate School Program was effective at reducing drug-related inharm in schoolchildren, it was limited in its infrastructure and design.

It is important to target high-risk youth in order to increase school-based programs’ effectiveness in reducing the risk of drug abuse.

High-risk youths have the potential to maximize their preventive outcomes and encourage positive behavior in others (Teesson and al.

A second problem was discovered in the evaluation of the approach. The educational programs and modules did not include peer-reviewed strategies to reduce drug use.

The result was poor quality programs that had poor or moderate outcomes.

It is therefore necessary to do extensive research when preparing educational modules. The program should be evidence-based, and have the potential for long-term improvement in health behaviour (Jenson and Fraser 2015).

Primary prevention strategies are also important for drug prevention. It should be based on theoretical foundations.

For instance, educational programs should adequately cover social determinants of health, risk factors and protective factors. (Munro, Ramsden, 2017).

There are many models of public health and the selection of one should be determined by the specific context and severity of the drug abuse issue.

It is important to use a community-based approach in order to prevent high levels of drug abuse among children. This includes teachers, parents, and members of the local community.

The infrastructure and program must be tailored to local needs. Key actions should align with overall program goals (Spooner 2009).

This essay focused on the health issue of young people using drugs.

These youths use drugs to get high or experiment with them.

It can lead to drug dependence, paranoia, and psychological problems as many youths become dependent on drugs for their whole lives.

It was therefore necessary to assess current policies and educational programs to determine their effectiveness in delaying early onset.

This evaluation identified limitations and offered possible suggestions to improve the results and sustain the approach for the long-term.

Refer to

Bowes and Bonomo, Y.A.

Adolescent harm reduction.

Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. 37(1). pp.5-8.

Review of evidence to prevent substance use, harm and risk in Australia.

Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 12(3) pp.247-248.

Fraser, M.W.

2015.

Sage Publications.

The effectiveness of primary school drug education.

Drugs education, prevention, and policy, 7(2) pp.109-126.

Modesto, V., Petry N.M., and McCartney M., 2008.

It is important to intervene early in order to reduce youth substance abuse.

The Medical journal of Australia 188(8), page 494.

Munro G. and Ramsden R. 2017.

Primary prevention: Preventing the use of drugs.

National Drug Strategy — National Drug Strategic Framework

Roche, A.; Battams S.; Cameron J.; Lee N.

Australian schools and alcohol education: What are the best programs?

Treatment implications and causes of drug abuse in adolescents. Spooner, C.

Cannabis and harm reduction.

Drug and Alcohol Review 19(1), pp.101-112.

Teesson M. (N.C.) and Barrett E.L. (2012)

Australian school-based prevention programs of alcohol and other drugs: a systematic review.

Drug and Alcohol Review 31(6), pp.731-736.

A cluster randomised controlled study to determine if there is a harm-minimization strategy for preventing adolescents from using cannabis and psychostimulants.

Substance abuse treatment, prevention and policy, 9(1). 24.

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