Drug Use Teens

Adolesce is defined as the life stage between childhood and adulthood and is a period often characterized by an amplified capability for behaviours that have potentially dangerous outcomes. Drug use and the misuse of substances have been strongly linked to patterns of risk taking or harmful behaviour within various youth cultures spanning to present day. Ecstasy and various other ‘party drugs’ that have spread in popularity from the mid 1980s onwards from a drug attached to an enclosed subculture to the mainstream, today these drugs are recognized as being the most popular with today’s generation of adolescence. The greatest threat concerning the popularity of such drugs is the dramatic increase of there recreational use within the mainstream, the ‘normalization’ of such drugs represents to some a serious set of risk factors that need to be addressed (Gullotta, 1994, p98).

The following will examine the historical context of drugs and how they relate to youth culture including the context in which they are used and role they play in adolescence social lives. Following on the perceptions and strategies of the community, family and governments will be examined both in relation to there motivations and involvement with the problem.

In order to understand drugs and possible modes of prevention it is important to understand their context and the cultures that surround them. Defining ecstasy, its use and significance to youth is an ongoing process. Traditionally it is seen to have arisen out of the 1980s UK rave subculture which spread into mainstream popular culture in the 90s and then moving beyond is now acknowledged to be one of the more widespread drugs flourishing in a more ‘normalized’ drug culture.

The misuse of drugs has formed a central part of various youth subcultures from post war through to today, Jazz bars, Mods, hippies, punks and other popular youth movements have always engaged with and at times popularized the use of certain drugs that have...