`star` Adolescence
`star` Drug and Alcohol Abuse
`star` Addiction
`star` Dependence
`star` Effects of Drug and Alcohol Abuse


● `color{Brown}"Adolescence"` means both `color{Violet}"a period"` and `color{Violet}"a process"` during which a child becomes `color{Violet}"mature"` in terms of his/her attitudes and beliefs for `color{Violet}"effective participation"` in society.

● The period between `color{Violet}"12-18 years"` of age may be thought of as `color{Violet}"adolescence period"`.

● In other words, `color{Violet}"adolescence"` is a bridge linking `color{Violet}"childhood and adulthood"`.

● `color{Violet}"Adolescence"` is accompanied by several `color{Violet}"biological and behavioural"` changes.

● Adolescence, thus is a very `color{Violet}"vulnerable phase"` of `color{Violet}"mental and psychological development"` of an individual.


● `color{Violet}"Curiosity"`, `color{Violet}"need for adventure"` and `color{Violet}"excitement"`, and experimentation, constitute common causes, which motivate youngsters towards drug and alcohol use.

● A child’s `color{Violet}"natural curiosity"` motivates him/her to experiment.

● This is `color{Violet}"complicated further"` by effects that might be perceived as `color{Violet}"benefits"`, of alcohol or drug use.

● Thus, the first use of drugs or alcohol may be out of `color{Violet}"curiosity or experimentation"`, but later the child starts using these to `color{Violet}"escape facing problems"`.

● Of late, `color{Violet}"stress"`, from pressures to excel in `color{Violet}"academics or examinations"`, has played a significant role in persuading the youngsters to try alcohol and drugs.

● The perception among youth that it is `color{Violet}"cool"` or `color{Violet}"progressive to smoke"`, use drugs or alcohol, is also in a way a `color{Violet}"major cause"` for youth to start these habits.

● `color{Violet}"Television"`, `color{Violet}"movies"`, `color{Violet}"newpapers"`, internet also help to promote this perception.

● `color{Violet}"Other factors"` that have been seen to be associated with drug and alcohol abuse among adolescents are `color{Violet}"unstable or unsupportive"` family structures and `color{Violet}"peer pressure"`.


● Because of the perceived benefits, drugs are `color{Violet}"frequently used repeatedly"`.

● The most important thing, which one fails to realise, is the `color{Violet}"inherent addictive nature"` of alcohol and drugs.

● Addiction is a `color{Violet}"psychological attachment"` to certain effects –such as `color{Violet}"euphoria"` and a `color{Violet}"temporary feeling of well-being"` – associated with drugs and alcohol.

● These `color{Violet}"drive people"` to take them even when these are not needed, or even when their use `color{Violet}"becomes self-destructive"`.

● With `color{Violet}"repeated use of drugs"`, the tolerance level of the `color{Violet}"receptors"` present in our body increases.

● Consequently the receptors respond only to `color{Violet}"higher doses of drugs"` or alcohol leading to greater `color{Violet}"intake and addiction"`.

● However, it should be clearly borne in mind that `color{Violet}"use"` of these drugs `color{Violet}"even once"`, can be a `color{Violet}"fore-runner to addiction"`.

● Thus, the `color{Violet}"addictive potential"` of drugs and alcohol, pull the user into a vicious circle leading to their `color{Violet}"regular use"` (abuse) from which he/she may not be able to get out.

● In the absence of any `color{Violet}"guidance or counselling"`, the person gets `color{Violet}"addicted"` and becomes dependent on their use.


● `color{Violet}"Dependence"` is the tendency of the body to `color{Violet}"manifest"` a `color{Violet}"characteristic and unpleasant"` `color{Brown}"withdrawal syndrome"` if regular dose of drugs/alcohol is abruptly discontinued.

● This is characterised by `color{Violet}"anxiety"`, `color{Violet}"shakiness"`, `color{Violet}"nausea"` and `color{Violet}"sweating"`, which may be relieved when use is resumed again.

● In some cases, `color{Violet}"withdrawal symptoms"` can be severe and even life threatening and the person may need `color{Violet}"medical supervision"`.

● `color{Brown}"Dependence"` leads the patient to `color{Violet}"ignore all social norms"` in order to get sufficient funds to satiate his/her needs.

● These result in many `color{Violet}"social adjustment problems"`.


● The immediate adverse effects of drugs and alcohol abuse are manifested in the form of `color{Violet}"reckless behaviour"`, `color{Violet}"vandalism and violence"`.

● Excessive doses of drugs may lead to `color{Violet}"coma and death"` due to respiratory failure, heart failure or cerebral hemorrhage.

● A `color{Violet}"combination of"` `color{Violet}"drugs"` or their intake along with alcohol generally results in `color{Violet}"overdosing"` and even `color{Violet}"deaths"`.

● The most common `color{Brown}"warning signs"` of drug and alcohol abuse among youth include:

`star` Drop in `color{Violet}"academic performance"`

`star` Unexplained absence from `color{Violet}"school/college"`

`star` Lack of interest in `color{Violet}"personal hygiene"`

`star` `color{Violet}"Withdrawal, isolation"`