Substance Abuse Myths among Adolescent
Substance abuse among adolescents has been on the rise recently, more
specifically, the school-going adolescent. According to Public Health Journal,
substance the harmful use substances that are psychoactive such as illegal drugs and
alcohol. Substance abused can lead to more severe addiction, often described as a
dependence syndrome. The dependence syndrome is behavioral, physiological, and
cognitive that a person may develop after repeated use of the substance, and that
includes continuous use, a strong desire, and at times experience the difficulties in
avoiding using the substance. Nevertheless, the substance may not only encompass
around illegal drugs (Das et al., 2016). Still, it may include even the use of medication
that alters the function of a body and causes the desired feelings. Notably, substance
abuse may differ at times in meaning with addiction. The addiction is a broad term
that is used to imply that not being able to stop using a substance even when it causes
harm. However, the people who are abusing substances can change their behaviors
and even quit using the substance. Substance abuse among adolescents is a serious
societal concern that is raving the world today.
Historically, substance abuse among the adolescent is an issue of public health
concern at the global image. Conversely, it is important to note that substance abuse is
common among adolescents and had been previously linked with mental health
disorders. Peer influence and observed behavior have been directly linked to the rise
in substance abuse among the adolescent. However, the substance abuse in adolescent
occasionally has been backed abuse by myths making a larger percentage of
SUBSTANCE ABUSE MYTHS AMONG ADOLESCENT 3
adolescent to indulge themselves in substance abuse. The myth may be defined
casually as a legendary story that is passed from generation to generation that is not
always true on many occasions. Historically, peer influence has been blamed as a
major inciter of the adolescent into substance abuse. The essay seeks to debunk
substance abuse among adolescents and how they can be addressed.
The mythical stories are tied to a strong pillar of beliefs, and it can be very
difficult to debunk. However, it is essential to debunk these myths and address them
more amicably among the adolescent, and this action will of great help to society. The
adolescent may be starting abusing the drugs based on naysayer’s myths or myths
among their peers. Nevertheless, some myths have a strong conviction of culture and
religion. The myths with this kind of connection between culture and religion are
always difficult to debunk among adolescent peers (Das et al., 2016). Ostensibly, the
most common myths about substance abuse among adolescent that has reigned for a
long period include, substance abuse cure illness, substance abuse enhance
productivity, substance abuse relieves stress, substance abuse enhances academic
knowledge, and many more believes and myths. The mythological factors above are
considered as the main common myths that are making youths to get themselves into
substance and drug abuse.
The myth about substance abuse that the substance abuse cures certain disease
has been a long story since time immemorial. The legendry story that drug abuse can
cure certain illnesses has been a debated story among all the spheres of life. The most
debated drug is cannabis Sativa, there has been allegation linking cannabis Sativa to
the treatment of world monster disease called cancer. However, some countries like
SUBSTANCE ABUSE MYTHS AMONG ADOLESCENT 4
Canada have launched a scientific investigation about this matter. Also, some among
the adolescent there’s is a common belief that those who are abusing any substance
are immune to the common ailment that affects the general population (Stevens,
2019). Some adolescents, when they are taken ill, there is a strong conviction that
given some drugs to the abuse, they will automatically get better and be free from the
ailment. However, it is not scientifically proven that abusing certain substances cures
a person of certain ailments. The science does not support the abuse of any substance,
not even the real medication that is given to cure illness. The report has revealed that
several youths have indulged themselves in substance abuse due to this kind of myth
discussed. The myth about substance abuse providing cure to certain illnesses is pure
rhetoric that should be debunked.
Secondly, there is a long-run story that substance abuse enhances and improves
productivity. The ability to do more work quickly and effectively is an admiration
character that everyone would want and admire. The adolescent is a behavior
identification stage that they often strive to identify themselves with so many things.
The myths that substance abuse gives a person some magic strength is one of the most
known myths that have passed generation to generation. Subsequently, some people
are convicted that they cannot perform a challenging task without abusing any drug,
especially when they are faced with a challenging task. The adolescent may receive
stigmatizing when they are not able to perform certain tasks. The stigmatization and
the influence of their peers occasionally force them to indulged themselves in drug
abuse to have the perceived strength (Johnston et al., 2018). The science has debunked
and castigated the myths that drug abuse enhances the individual capability in
SUBSTANCE ABUSE MYTHS AMONG ADOLESCENT 5
performing the task. Medically, it is very hazardous when one is an illusion of a
person perceives themselves from having more strength after substance abuse.
Finally, it is a common belief among many adolescents that substance abuse
enhances the thinking capacity and relieves stress. The adolescents are in their prime
initial stage of starting to work towards their academic achievement. The people who
do not excel in school occasionally might face some prejudice and discrimination in
their ecological niche. In this, one might be tempted to abuse a drug to achieve and
gain academic prowess. The myth about substance abuse enhancing the academic
prowess has lured several adolescents into starting to abuse the drugs. The stress
reliever myth is the most common in most generations and ages. Nevertheless, it is
deemed that one is faced with so many challenges, then substance intake relieves one
from the tension are often makes them assume what they are facing. However, the
question finally has been who will save the young generation of the adolescent in
debunking the myths.
The myths should be addressed in a more strategic multi-sectoral approach that
touches all the confines of substance abuse myths. The first strategic approach that has
been applied in some scenarios is creating awareness. The mass creation of awareness
among adolescents in schools, at home, and at the community level is primary in
addressing the myths surrounding substance abuse. The awareness should focus on
education about the dangers and substance abuse. The debunking of substance abuse
myths should be backed with scientific facts and figures. The advocacy should be
driven by the people that mostly occupy the ecological niche of the adolescent
(Schroeder et al., 2018). The people who should take ownership and drive the
SUBSTANCE ABUSE MYTHS AMONG ADOLESCENT 6
campaign are like parents, teachers, and their peers. The adolescent should be
involved in outreach programs that aims at sensitizing them on the dangers of drug
and substance abuse. The government and other societal organizations are supposed to
support the adolescent in their quest to stop substance abuse. The stern actions are
supposed to be taken on the people who are passing the myths to the adolescent.
Finally, the adolescent that are already involved in the substance abuse is supposed to
be given counsel and guidance to drop the vice and advocate for a drug-free society.
In summation, the reports from different governments and organizations have
indicated that school-going adolescents are deeply involved in substance abuse. The
substance abuse among this adolescent has occasionally fueled my deeply rooted
myths. The myths are addressed even though there is not so much that has been done.
The rise in the number of adolescents involved in substance abuse has been alarming.
The main myths revolved around enhancing productivity, provision of relieving to
stress, enhancement of academic capability, and cure to certain illnesses and
conditions. However, when addressing this myth, there should be backed up with a
thoroughly scientific approach. The institutions of learning, the government, parents,
and other stakeholders are required to play a key role in addressing the myths. The
myths are reported to have caused more harm than good among the adolescent
population. Ostensibly, the substance abuse campaigns that are aimed at sensitizing
the adolescent about drug free society is supposed to be on the limelight. The myths
about substance abuse can be blamed and slammed for the rise in the number of
adolescents involved in substance abuse.
SUBSTANCE ABUSE MYTHS AMONG ADOLESCENT 7
Das, J. K., Salam, R. A., Arshad, A., Finkelstein, Y., & Bhutta, Z. A. (2016).
Interventions for adolescent substance abuse: An overview of systematic
reviews. Journal of Adolescent Health, 59(4), S61-S75.
Johnston, R. S., Stafford, J., Jongenelis, M. I., Shaw, T., Samsa, H., Costello, E., &
Kirby, G. (2018). Evaluation of a public education campaign to support parents
to reduce adolescent alcohol use. Drug and alcohol review, 37(5), 588-598.
Schroeder, S. A., Clark, B., Cheng, C., & Saucedo, C. B. (2018). Helping smokers
quit: The smoking cessation leadership center engages behavioral health by
challenging old myths and traditions. Journal of psychoactive drugs, 50(2),
Stevens, R. M. (2019). Review of Cannabis crashes: myths & truths.