Programs for adolescent substance users

There are very few programs that are specially designed for youngsters. The legal system knows that there is no comparison between adult and adolescent substance use and therefore different methods must be used for treating juvenile users.  An example is that there is less use of medicine in treating adolescent than in treating adults, and this system must be changed. The justice system must implement a structured system of benefits and penalties to encourage the adolescents to participate in the treatment programs. Proper medical treatment should form the basis for the treatment of adolescent substance users especially those having mental health issues.

The lack of qualified staff and the lack of interest shown by people are the most urgent issues that need to be changed for successful treatment of adolescents’ substances abusers. The most common factors in adolescents is their resentment and opposition to counseling, their negative responses because they do not want to reform or change their lives and the end of counseling services before the completion of their treatments. They also associate with other juveniles or adult criminals and usually join a group of likeminded people who have serious criminal tendencies and are usually involved in violence, murder and other criminal activities including substance use and abuse.

Most of these youngsters have been deserted by their parents, mostly fathers and there is a lot of accumulated, pent up anger which finds release in criminal activities supplemented by substance use and abuse. Because of these desertions they have difficulty in communicating and revealing their innermost thoughts.  It is also believed that this fact alone is the most contributing factor for substance use.  This abandonment by their father usually leads to “male depression” which deprives them of the capacity for emotional feelings, the externalization of which causes them to strike out against all know authority and the feeling that there is absolutely no hope for them.

This suppression of emotions is usually caused by parents who deride them as children when they cry by saying that only girls cry and boys who cry are sissies.  Such parental attitudes rob them of any emotional feelings for their parent and their feeling of loneliness and desperation drives them to substance use. The initial experimentation usually turns into a daily habit, and to feed their daily habit they turn to criminal activities. The males might turn to selling drugs or other criminal activities like mugging, thieving and armed robberies. While most girls do not turn to violence, they start stealing and prostituting themselves to feed their daily habits when other sources of money dry up.