Stimați colegi,

Vă invităm să participați la Cel de-al XXIV-lea Congres SNPCAR şi a 46-a Conferinţă Naţională de Neurologie-Psihiatrie a Copilului şi Adolescentului şi Profesiuni Asociate din România cu participare internaţională

25-28 septembrie 2024 – CRAIOVA, Hotel Ramada

Vă așteptăm cu drag!

Asist. Univ. Dr. Cojocaru Adriana – Președinte SNPCAR

Informații şi înregistrări: vezi primul anunț 


PSYCHOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL FACTORS INVOLVED IN DRUG USEIN ADOLESCENTS

Autor: Camelia Stanciu Andrei Cotruș
Distribuie pe:

This paper aims to address the issue of drug use and the favoring of this phenomenon, because the trend in the world, especially among young people, begin to converge in recent decades, and the effects of drug use are felt both from the individual, but especially by the society. Thus, Romania is also part of this trend, and it has the tendency to increase the number of addicts and perhaps which is more alarmingly, the decrease in age at onset of drug use.

Introduction

Teenagers, young people form a vulnerable population to drugs; they are more receptive to new and extreme experiences. This vulnerability of adolescent drug use is directly related to the fact that drugs have become more easy available; consumption is often associated with the pressure from a group of friends.

Whatever their nature, whether vegetable, animal or mineral , these substances apparently bring happiness or ” dream factory ” made annually more victims than weapons of mass destruction .Regarding age consumers in Romania, the average onset of drug use decreased significantly, leading to consumption of only cases of children 10 to 12 years. A study conducted by the National Antidrug Agency (NAA) and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) shows that Romania has become a transit country for hallucinogens consumers.

A comparative analysis conducted by ANA 2004-2007-2010 indicate that the prevalence of lifetime drug continues to be focused on recreational drugs (cannabis, ecstasy) consumed predilection by people aged between 15 and 34 years (www.ana.gov.ro / reports % 20nationale/raport_ro_2011.pdf). A 2012 report conducted by the same agency indicates that the prevalence of any type of illicit drug at least once in life in adolescents 16 years of Romania was 15.6 % (report)

 

The drug addict is clearly a victim. He faces real difficulties in relationships with family, society and endangers their own lives. By nature, teenagers are difficult because of changes occurring in their regard. Adolescence is a stage of life between childhood and adulthood intermediate. It has been called “the stage of human evolution” (Dincă M. 2004). Chronological limits of adolescence are questionable in the sense that some authors consider adolescence as falling between 12 and 18, even 20 years, and others, between 14 years and 18-20 years, for which the adolescence was divided into tree stages:

  • Early period: between 10-11/13-14 year period of profound physical and physiological changes , some intricate shaping of interests, skills and moral conception of the child, this period is called pre-addolescence or puberty
  • Second period: 13-14/17-18 , 20 years is the actual adolescence , which is characterized by a strong balance, intimate worldview and life, by clarifying and enhancing development ideals by intense side of cognitive development, affective and volitional personality
  • Extended adolescence stage: between 18/20 years, to 24/25.

This stage is characterized by „primary psychological integration requirements of a profession, the condition of independence and marital option „(Şchiopu U. 2008).

Teenager undergoes transformations generated by the needs and necessities they felt – so still needs arising at puberty and new necessities arising in adolescence. It faces a number of new needs or the needs described in prior periods are experiencing a significant transformation (Dincă M. 2004): the need to know, to be affectionate, of belonging to a group, independence, need to find patterns. Intellectual activity is perceived by the adolescent as having particular importance for adulthood. „The whole adolescent thinking is logical and thorough, organized, systematic, rigorous and reflective, open-minded” (Cretu T. 2003).” Some adolescents develop elevated literary and expressive speech. Anyway adolescents adapt their speech according to the degree of party culture. Educational slang used less” (Şchiopu et all, 1989). „Adolescence is a stage of cognitive development available that reaches to express the full potential only under stimulation by the environment and educators and the existence of their own motivation and effective involvement in cognitive tasks„ (Cretu T., 2001). Some authors argue that psychosocial identity or sense of self depends on the development of an integrated self that can withstand external responsibilities. Teen aim is therefore to establish personal identity and its confirmation by others. „Among the most important features in the development of moral consciousness and self-awareness are ego identity and placing the subject in reality (Greens, E., 1993). Different authors characterize adolescence as a critical period in the long process of identity formation. Difficulty that teenagers face when trying to establish personal identity is referred to as a crisis of identity, completion manifested by achieving identity or a role confusion. Identity crisis is described by the adolescent as a search of the answer to the question „Who am I? „. This is the stage that defines itself as student teen son or daughter, friend or human being establishes the skills and potential for further development.

Self-image structure is complex, including self-image itself (what teenager thinks about himself), ideal self-image (which wishes to become ) self-image attributed to the world (what the individual believes that others are thinking about it) image of the world about it (which I really like about it). Crisis originality refers to all adolescent behaviors by which he seeks to harmonize the aspirations and attitudes to actual conditions of the social environment (Ibiș A., 2001). Conflict between generations is conflict between the dominant generation of teenagers group of high school students, that the new generation is formed by social and personal development. Now the teenager is going through an era of rebellion testing their rules, prohibitions, questioning religion and family values. The same challenge will be manifested to the authority by the clothes they wear and the music they listen to. „For it to be special clothes, even if it is not accepted to play music as much, room to be messy, etc.(Green E.,1993)

Adolescent rebellion attitude makes him estranged from the family, which will lead parents to enter the alert. The child ceases to be influenced especially by parents, although most children are still under them, but they want their parents to not be so restrictive and outdated. During this period, the relationship with friends, schoolmates becomes increasingly important links between them turning into retreat, which often lead to immoral acts, while decreasing interest in school or other development activities in terms view of education.

Most teenagers, however, that supports decision-making authority, belongs to parents and teachers. A balanced family with normal previous links between its members, across well during stormy adolescence.

 

Drug use in Romania

Statistics worldwide show that the largest number of consumers is young people (Smith, O., Achim , V. , Smith AL, 2004). Teenagers, young people form a vulnerable population to drugs because they are more receptive to new experiences and extreme. For example, statistics on drug use in Germany and France indicates that about 50 % of young people in these countries have been or are drug users. It is noted that the average onset of drug use declined dramatically, leading to consumption of only cases of children 10 to 12 years in Romania. Prevention and control centers for drug consumption among adolescents, were giving the following information:

10% of teens smoke up to 15 cigarettes per day, 20 days per month (although the percentage is growing). Tobacco has several harmful long-term effects and it also creates addiction. A teenager who smokes more than one year has a 80% chance of becoming addicted.

  • 75% of teenagers have consumed alcohol occasionally. Of these, 28 % relates to heavy drinking episodes (more than 5 strong drink in a few hours). One of the leading causes of death among teens is car accidents caused by alcohol abuse. Alcohol lowers inhibitions and predispose adolescents to inappropriate sexual life (unprotected sex), which increases the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (HIV- AIDS, herpes, Chlamydia) or the occurrence of an unwanted pregnancy.
  • 40% of teens have tried marijuana at least once, while 22 % of them frequently use this drug. Marijuana is a common option among teenagers and can cause memory loss , cognitive learning or attention.
  • 9% of teenagers have tried cocaine, while 4 % use the drug frequently ( at least once a month).

As the characteristics of drug users:

  • commonly boys consume drugs more often than girls;
  • commonly drug consumers are older youth and from upper classes;
  • are more prone to drug use, in the first place, young people whose parents have low education level and lower social statuses and who lack the resources and skills to guide and advise children and, on the other hand young people from families with higher statuses that can provide resources for the purchase of drugs and do not have the time to supervise their children; the most exposed youngsters to drug use are those with poor outcomes in school and those who have repeated school years; their families influence drug use excessively trough authoritarian style, the family environment characterized by frequent quarrels between parents and children, members of the couple, the family breakdown through divorce, and parental alcoholism.

 

Psychological and general features of drug users

Specialists believe that people become drug users, especially young people, have a degree of vulnerability of personality, prior to the commencement of consumption.

“They seem to lack the resources to cope with the demands of everyday life, are unstable in terms of feelings, and are at odds with society and the authorities. Many of them complain of depression, anxiety, but it is uncertain whether they are causes or consequences of drug addiction. (Rascanu R. , 2004) For many teens desire to be different, rebellious desire to assert its own identity in opposition to others, is the primary impulse (Romila I., 2003).

Fear of ridicule, care of another child and the desire to imitate the older ones contributing to the corruption. Thus the adolescent begins to smoke, drink, gamble and seek opportunities in which to demonstrate strength and courage. The attraction he feels at a time for the group of teenager’s and sometimes adults can be explained by the fact that the group allows the realization of desires which are prohibited brutally by parents and participating in adventurous activities and activities interesting. The main effects of group life are dependencies that it develops between members of the group. The wish of affirmation to the group, and fear that they will be rejected, they will be isolated from the group if they refuse proposals so-called „insiders”, they are the new members do not consider the risks they run.

Another reason is peer pressure, depending on their level of self-esteem, level of depth to their ideal of life, relationships with family, school results, the image they have of themselves and others who want to create adolescents have different capacities for resistance to pressure exerted by their entourage. However, “addiction, abuse, intoxication and abstinence from substance use often involves multiple substances simultaneously or excessive.” (Romila A., 2003). For example, in most cases, individuals addicted to cocaine also consume alcohol, opioids, anxiolytics, or to counteract the cocaine- induced persistent anxiety symptoms. „A drug addictive spends most of his time seeking and consuming the drug. His lifestyle is totally disorganized. For him, the vital needs of drinking, eating, and sleeping pass the background. His biorhythm is inverted, lives at night and sleeps during the day. Signs of degradation appear to translate general condition. He no longer cares for the health because it correctly perceive the pain of infectious processes, etc.. (Popescu et all 2004) ” Doru Buzducea offers a number of indicators related to drug use (Buzducea, D., 2005): irritability, mental and behavioral instability, irritation, paranoid, unreasonable and inappropriate aggression, depression, apathy, slips and speech difficulties, reducing yield school, decreased motivation, nervousness, interpersonal problems.

If drug addiction has already been installed, it may need much more work, and they should be well directed. „They should not be focused only on the drug itself, but also on other issues and difficulties confronted young (Popescu et all 2004). ”

Since the installation of drug dependence, the subject experiences other states: before administration of the drug , the individual feels the urge of eating , after drug administration is a state of satisfaction, rather than extreme euphoria characterizing individual not is dependent on the drug, as the drug’s effects begin to disappear. Addiction lives unpleasant effects of withdrawal syndrome and the desire psychological and / or physiological to manage drug is resurfacing. In this way, the reason the use of the drug changes from positive to obtain a state of euphoria which is not dependent upon the individual drug, to avoid unpleasant conditions.

 

Causes of drug consumption among adolescents

The external causes of drug use among young people, the French author Gilles Ferreol mentions: group of friends, low educational level, lack of information about drugs (Ferreol G., 2000). The author points out that the fact that teenagers are driven to drugs by curiosity, experimentation need strong emotions. Some psychological theories of drug use based on the notion of pathological psychology or inadequate: there is something emotional and physical lives of different individuals that predispose them to drug use. They use drugs as an „escape from reality „as a way to avoid the problems of life and to withdraw euphoric (Răşcanu R., 1999). According to the author , more research on the personality and attitudes of drug users have shown that, compared with those teenagers who don’t use drugs, the former tend to be more rebellious, more independent , open to new experiences, willing to take more risks, are more tolerant, accepting deviant behavior are sensitive to uncertainty, pleasure seekers, nonconformists and unconventional. Some children and young people use drugs or organic solvents in an attempt to forget the problems they are experiencing or mitigate anger arisen following an unpleasant event occurred in the family. Sometimes their reasons are deeper gesture: a reaction to some abuse, the fact that they are not paying attention in school or environment (Smith et all, 2004).

 

Depression

Reduced possibilities of adaptation and integration, inability to connect teenagers to professional social structures and frequent failures, failures, disappointments, anxieties may cause harmful behaviors (Greens E., 1993). Psychiatrist J. White argues that depressive disorder is divided into two types: primary depression and secondary depression. The other side is caused by disorder or condition, such as for example alcohol addiction. Primary depression mood swings are not associated with any other form of mental or physical condition. And they fall into two categories: bipolar depression (alternative states of sadness and joy) and unipolar depression (interpreted as „emotional Darkness ’’).

A depressed teenager is very sensitive to negative pressures of colleagues and can easily fall victim to alcohol, drugs, crime, sexual immorality and other antisocial behaviors. Instead of using words to draw attention to their inner turmoil, they will be irritable and agitated.

O. Popescu et al. states that the use of drugs is, especially for young people, a way to react to loneliness, feelings of hopelessness, lack of self-esteem and self confidence (Popescu et all , 2004). Ferreol Gilles (2000) stresses that parents think that teenagers who tried a drug or consuming routinely have certain characteristics: having problems communication and relationships with others , they lack confidence , they feel dissatisfied in many ways, are more nervous, agitated, stressed, vulgar, violent than others , reject the authority of parents and teachers, have parents who have money , they are not supervised ; entourage is not known to parents, no longer interested in school and absent more.

 

Entourage

Human, by nature, requires membership in a family, a group or a community. Therefore, social maturation, the purpose of establishing peer relationships, cannot provide fully than friendship with people of the same age.

Adolescence is the age at which parental influence decreases considerably at the expense entourage (circle of friends, class). Adolescents are vulnerable, feel isolated, unsupported, and will usually try to find a group to which to join. Group is for teens to get a kind of „parallel family” in which it carries all sorts of cultural activities, sports, leisure , driving his creativity. Peer pressure is higher when adolescents lack parental guidance and affection.

Not always teenager knows how to defend against street influences, peers or adults turbulent, fighting with the rules and laws of social life. Drug use, especially among young people, is ” a way to react to loneliness , lack of self-respect , sense of hopelessness, lack of self confidence. The most exposed are the most sensitive to the influence of their peers thinking that will find the links to their comrades a way to be safe (Fereol G., 2000)

The exerted pressure on a young person or a group to establish a certain behavior does not mean as much as the self-imposed pressure means that he feels the desire to behave like everyone else around him, feeling thus integrated into the group (Smith, et al, 2004).

Following a study conducted, G. Ferreol found that the main external factor indicated as favorable adolescent drug use entourage or group of friends. Among young people who try illegal drugs, most derive from friends, soon became common practice, which distinguishes them from others. However, individually or collectively consumed beyond curiosity and the role of age-specific peer group risk drinking among adolescents increases with joining a group whose people consume or provide drugs. Adolescence is associated with a period of rebellion manifested phenomena teen having a character nonconforming to social norms. He may have a negative or positive identification to these rules, creating the feeling of instability personality. Adolescent rebellion occurs for several reasons. In some cases it is simply a manifestation of the fact that the adolescent to adulthood advance came at a time of trouble. Seizures occur due to changes in the physique can trigger various changes in behavior leading to rejecting the counsel of parents, escaping the circle of friends or even adopt habits “rebel” such as drug use. Because often feel the desire to stand out with an attitude, the clothes, vocabulary, hair or simply by including a popular group that manages to influence the adoption of rules or practices that make so “special”. The group’s influence is higher when adolescents lack parental guidance and affection. Most of young drug users are not supervised by parents regarding their relationships with that close entourage and about how they spend their free time or are supervised superficial. Problem drug use is increasing among young people present, but what is more important is that the age at which onset decreases significantly. Another problem is the number of deaths of addicts, most often due to being represented by an overdose.

 

Conclusions

The reason that leads adolescents to drug represents the most influence of the friends and environment begins is often one of fun. In such moments, (alcohol, tobacco and / or drugs) family values lose their meaning teenager who has a personality very well structured falls prey to the temptation to be like others and impress by his action.

We consider that is important as the direction of intervention involving students in the development and presentation of actions, to reduce the number of users, to have the opportunity to gather information and present it as they see it arouse interest. In these activities the presence of former consumers is useful to relate their experiences, to provide answers and be willing to help. Aid provided for an adolescent drug addicted, should take the form of a specialized intervention provided by a specialist, coupled with the attitude of understanding, support and unconditional acceptance of the parents.

Bibliography 

  1. Buzducea D (2005). Aspecte contemporane în Asistenţă Socială, Iaşi: Editura Polirom.
  2. Creţu T (2001). Adolescenţa şi contextul său de dezvoltare, Bucureşti: Editura Credis.
  3. Creţu T (2003). Psihologia vârstelor, Bucureşti: Editura Credis.
  4. Dincă M (2004). Adolescenţi într-o societate de schimbare, Bucureşti: Editura Paideia.
  5. Ferreol G (2000). Adolescenţii şi toxicomania, Iaşi: Editura Polirom.
  6. Ibiş A (2001). Influenţa agenţilor de socializare aspra comportamentelor predelincvente ale elevilor, Bucureşti: Pansofia.
  7. Popescu O, Achim V, Popescu AL (2004). Viaţa în hexagonul morţii, Bucureşti: Editura Fiat Lux.
  8. Răşcanu R (1999). Neuropsihofiziologia devianţei la adolescenţi şi tineri, Bucureşti: Editura ACTAMI.
  9. Răşcanu R (2004). Alcool şi droguri: «virtuţi» şi capcane pentru tineri, Bucureşti, Editura Universităţii din Bucureşti.
  10. Şchiopu U, Verza E (1989). Adolescenţa personalitate şi limbaj, Bucureşti: Editura Albatros.
  11. Şchiopu U (2008). Psihologia modernă, Bucureşti: Editura România Press.
  12. Verza E (1993). Psihologia vârstelor, Bucureşti: Editura Hyperion XXI.
  13. ***DSM-IV (2003). Manual de diagnostic şi statistică a tulburărilor mentale- DSM- IV, Bucureşti: Editura Psihiatrilor Liberi din România, traducere Romilă A.
  14. www.ana.gov.ro/rapoarte%20nationale/raport_ro_2011.pdf
  15. www.ana.gov.ro/rapoarte%20nationale/Report_RO_2012.pdf