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The Issue of the Substance Use and Abuse


The age group of 18-20 years old is at high risk of abuse of substances such as marijuana, cocaine and alcohol. Being a young adult presents unique challenges which are part of life since it is the period of transition in life. Moreover, most young people at this age are moving out of home, beginning college life, starting a career, enlisting in the military. Therefore, they experience more freedom from parental care, and also they start having disposable income.

Risk Factor Overview

Young adults have the highest rates of substance and alcohol misuse as they obtain more freedom after moving out of parental care. There is enticement from peers to explore and experiment with new substances they have not used before leading to addiction. Furthermore, non-college young adults have even higher risks of using nearly all illicit substances as compared to college attending young adults as they have more freedom to experiments with substances. Some of the high risks adverse results include criminal justice involvement, injury, loss of life, and other careless behaviours.

Contributing Factors

The contributing factors for substance use and abuse are classified into three categories: social, familial and individual. The familial factors include childhood mistreatment; neglect and abuse are commonly found in a family setup. Social factors include peer associations, gang’s affiliation, bullying and popularity seeking, mostly found around the neighbourhood and in schools. Individuals factors vary and most of them are connected with depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).The individual factor is more threatening since a person may have suicidal thoughts or harming other people.

Prevalence of the Health Risk

Adolescence is a stage in a life marked by substantial developmental changes; therefore the use of substances causes harm. Indeed, the leading cause of death or injury among young adults is reckless behaviours that are influenced by the use and abuse of substances. Behaviours linked with drug use and alcohol drinking in young adults increases the risk for violence and injury, especially due to reckless driving. There is a close relationship between substance abuse and HIV/STD infections among adolescents and young adults, due to unprotected sex and multiple partners.

Ways of Identify the Problem and Addressing It

Asking for help for an individual suffering from substance abuse is the first critical step, and it is a determinant of the recovery process. As people abusing substance show different and temperamental behaviours such as anger, amusement, mood swings and being withdrawn. In some instances, individual may neglect personal hygiene and groom. The next step should be visiting a doctor or mental professional for possible referral for screening and intervention, whereby the damage or the extent will be diagnosed. The recovery procedure is a long journey and the patient need emotional support.

Activity for the Audience to Engage

Schools provide an opportunity of meeting several young people living in the same environment, where peer pressure contributes to substance exploration and abuse. If education on substances harm, can be taught in school, it will benefit many adolescent and young adults. Having an outreach for college students in their outdoor activities is also critical in curbing the influence of substances abuse. Many young adults after getting the first job, acquire new financial freedom and capabilities: therefore reaching out to this group is essential. The Social media engagement is popular with young people.

Help and Support Resources

Many resource institutes provide around-the-clock help to people with substance abuse problems. Some of the institutes include the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence, the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, NIDA for Teens among others. There are also online resources include Truth Campaign, Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre, Your Room and many others.

  • Support groups include: Alcohol anonymous, smart recovery, Narcotics anonymous and they are available across the country.
  • Addiction counselors usually work with clients from different background, and the ones having numerous addiction disorders on substance abuse.

In Conclusion

There are several challenges faced by young adults, especially due to substances use and abuse, that ruin their lives. The commonly abused substances include alcohol, and stimulants such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and hashish. Many of the youth, have found themselves on the wrong side of the law, which disrupts their education, family life and work. Moreover, substance use habit is expensive to sustain, which leads to loss of resources and indulging in criminal activities. There are numerous support and resources centres to help addicted persons.


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Welsh, J., Shentu, Y., & Sarvey, D. (2019). Substance use among college students. Focus, 17(2), 117-127. Web.

Öztaş, D., Kalyon, A., Ertuğrul, A., Gündoğdu, Ç., Balcıoğlu, H., & Sağlan, Y. et al. (2018). Evaluation of Risk Factors Affecting Substance Use among Tenth-Grade Students. Biomed Research International, 2018, 1-11. Web.

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"The Issue of the Substance Use and Abuse." OctoStudy, 10 Mar. 2023, octostudy.com/the-issue-of-the-substance-use-and-abuse/.

1. OctoStudy. "The Issue of the Substance Use and Abuse." March 10, 2023. https://octostudy.com/the-issue-of-the-substance-use-and-abuse/.


OctoStudy. "The Issue of the Substance Use and Abuse." March 10, 2023. https://octostudy.com/the-issue-of-the-substance-use-and-abuse/.


OctoStudy. 2023. "The Issue of the Substance Use and Abuse." March 10, 2023. https://octostudy.com/the-issue-of-the-substance-use-and-abuse/.


OctoStudy. (2023) 'The Issue of the Substance Use and Abuse'. 10 March.

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