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Why Do Youth Use Drugs and Alcohol?

A drug is any chemical substance that causes a relative change in the psychology or physiology of an organism when consumed by the body. Alcohol, also referred under the chemical name of ethanol, exists as a psychoactive drug that is an active ingredient for various drinks such as wine, beer, and distilled spirits. In most situations, it is considered the most common and oldest recreational substance, which possesses acute effects on alcohol intoxication. The abuse of alcohol and drugs is quite severe amongst the youths who have become critical addicts. Drug and alcohol addiction is a relapsing condition that is chronic and often linked to a compulsive drug or alcohol effect. It has specific harmful effects that may have negative consequences, such as altering the brain’s normal functioning. The active usage of drugs and alcohol highly disturbs an individual’s standard hierarchy based on acquiring specific needs and desires and delaying certain priorities linked to its usage (Koketso et al., 2019). The use of drugs and alcohol leads to compulsive behavior that alters the critical ability to control relative impulses due to mental illness. Most collected data prove that individuals diagnosed with mood and anxiety disorders are most likely victims of substance use disorder. Most youths use drugs and alcohol-based on personal decisions to improve performance, peer influence, self-medication, experiment, rebellion, a form of competition, escape life issues, attention, lack of education, and active addiction.

Most youths use drugs and alcohol in line with their personal decisions to begin relative addiction. As human beings, we can make confident decisions that will either affect us positively or negatively. The youths, therefore, spend adequate time taking drugs and drinking alcohol as a form of leisure. An individual can easily decide to stop medicines or use them based on their level of interest in the mind. It, therefore, results in a choice and preference; hence the addiction journey of drug and alcohol starts (Ikoh et al., 2019). When it becomes pronounced in society, it actively leads to a particular dark, a disturbed state where most people feel the addiction is becoming too much for the needed stability.

The use of drugs and alcohol amongst the youths can also come from peer influence, where friends and family may lure the child into trying the drugs and consuming the drink. It, therefore, makes them try them in the hope of pleasing their interests. They lack the proper moral advice on the implications of their actions hence become active users of them from time to time. When they use the drugs, it releases ten times the dopamine, which is not the same as other natural procedures. It, therefore, leads to certain feelings of euphoria, which motivates the body to try more of the drugs again (Ikoh et al., 2019). Within no time, they become addicts and cannot turn back from the influence. As for alcohol, it gives them a certain relaxed feeling which helps them cope with specific life situations. Most of the drugs and alcohol they consume are usually taken in large quantities whose implications are irreversible.

In other situations, the youth use drugs as self-medication to help them escape specific life issues they may be experiencing. They entail topics such as stress, depression, anxiety, and other mental complications and disorders. They affect their everyday lives since they often become unhappy and lack a healthy outlet to release their frustrations to any confidant, thus seeking the chemicals for utmost solace. The teens who frequently use drugs and alcohol believe that they minimize their symptoms and become distracted from the pain they might be experiencing either physically or mentally when they use them (Ikoh et al., 2019). When they consume drugs and alcohol, it alters their brain and distracts it entirely, preventing them from worrying too much about depression, stress, or anxiety. It makes them feel happy, confident in life, and more energized, proving they can receive help through drugs and alcohol. They use the prescribed stimulants, which help treat their hyperactive disorders, thus providing energy and focus when engaging in certain activities.

Also, the youths and young teens use drugs and alcohol to help improve their performances on different grounds, be it in school, work, during extra-curricular activities, or at home. In most cases, alcohol and drugs are critical stimulants in the body to increase the rate of action and ability to perform even better. Therefore the youths abuse them to help meet their social and personal expectations of people around them, such as coaches, employers, parents, or teachers who keep pressuring them from time to time (Adeyemo et al., 2016). Some of them usually lack the confidence to carry out certain activities; hence, they can quickly improve their performance levels from the influence of drugs and alcohol. Alcohol and drugs help loosen their inhibitions and alleviate their social anxiety, which pleases them in all situations and encourages them to use them more often.

In modern society, some youths use drugs and alcohol as a form of experimentation in their bodies. Most teens are usually curious based on their teenage ages; therefore, they have the will and urge to try them out to see and feel the final results. Furthermore, they may acquire information concerning drugs and alcohol from social media platforms, which raises their curiosity to try them out to see the overall outcome (Quigley 2019). Thus, they try the drugs and alcohol out to help them identify the critical sensations attributed to the drugs and how they can behave while being high. Unfortunately, in the process, some of them may end up being addicts whose implications are quite irreversible, while others may acquire certain health complications that are very severe.

Some youths engage in alcohol and drug addiction as a form of rebellion in line with their personalities. Under social situations, alcohol is usually used as a drug of choice for angry teenagers, for it helps free them from behaving aggressively while in the presence of other people. Others also abuse the prescribed medicines to help them get high and trigger their brains a little (Adeyemo et at., 2016). An example is hallucinogens such as LCD and mushrooms, called escape drugs to help young people escape the everyday world. It may affect their mental states since they become addicts who run to the drugs for solace in all conditions that come to them. In addition, active smoking of cigarettes is used as an act of rebellion to help alter their independence levels and make those around them angry.

In society, some youths tend to use drugs and alcohol as a form of competition with other people. This is because they have the will to perform, make themselves proud, and impress others which comes with a lot of pressure for most adolescents. The young people thus ensure they become the best in their parents and peers, therefore, engage in active abuse of drugs and alcohol. To become the ultimate winners in the substance use competition requires large quantities of active consumption, whose implications may become severe. It will then give them social recognition and support since they are the ultimate conquerors (Chilwalo et al., 2021). The use of prescription stimulants helps them receive positive results and may increase the chances of young adults’ opportunities to become winners in specific tournaments. However, some become active addicts in the end and rely on the drugs to improve their overall performance techniques in the presence of other people during competitions.

Attentions is a social aspect where most teens feel that they may be abandoned or even lack a purpose in life. Therefore when they decide to use alcohol and drugs, they believe they will be noted quickly and that people will change their attention and focus on them. These feelings usually drive them into becoming drug addicts, for they lack anything in their lives or around them to make them feel special. Because they lack knowledge on how to become the best, they choose the side of becoming the worst by being drug and alcohol addicts hoping that they will receive adequate attention from either their teachers or parents (Chilwalo et al., 2021). Thus, they abuse drugs during their leisure hours to help others feel that they are becoming hopeless in life and need adequate help.

The lack of education may attribute the use of drugs and alcohol by the youths. Most young adults and adolescents usually grow up believing that its usage is quite normal and approved socially. They find such information from their favorite musicians, from the televisions and in movies which increases their overall aim of trying them out. They have a symbolic aspect: when people have a headache, can’t sleep, or are sad, the drugs can easily be used to counter the situation. From our cultural aspects, it is evident that people believe that the pill cures all, thus consoling the youths that drugs can help them remedy any condition they may be experiencing. In most situations, the teens fail to understand the functional consequences that drug and alcohol usage may bring to them (Ikoh et al., 2019). They lack adequate knowledge on how they can harm their minds, social relationships, and their bodies. They require proper education on how to void using the drugs and active consultations on coping with addictions.

Some youths engage in active consumption of drugs and alcohol since they have already become addicts whose irreversibility is quite tricky under the social model. Most of them are already stuck in the cycle of using drugs and alcohol all the time, thus becoming their best friend. At their young ages, they become very vulnerable to developing aspects of addiction and relative dependence (Frank et al., 2019). They begin the addiction journey at young ages and find it hard to come out of it. Others become very helpless in life and, without using drugs and alcohol, cannot do anything around them. It becomes like a daily meal considered necessary to start their days and enhance their positive results and the way their daily errands occur. Most of them experience specific effects from addiction that may affect them socially, mentally, physically, and medically for they cannot stabilize their lives fully.


Adeyemo Florence, O., Beatrice, O., Okpala, P. U., & Oghale, O. (2016). Prevalence of drug abuse amongst university students in Benin City, Nigeria. Public Health Research, 6(2), 31-37.

Chilwalo, B. N., Makhubele, J. C., Ananias, J. A., Mafa, P., Matlakala, F. K., Hasheela, M. W., … & Tiberia, N. H. (2021). Experiences and opinions of youth towards alcohol abuse in and out of school in Oshikango, Ohangwena Region, Namibia. Technium Social Sciences Journal, 23, 701-709.

Frank, R. S., Calvin, M. J., Agnes, A. J., Anesu, S., Miriam, H., Winnie, H. T. N. I., … & Frans, M. (2019). Non-Governmental Organisations Personnel, Social Workers and Religious Leaders’ Perspectives on the Risk Factors of Alcohol Abuse Amongst the Youth: The Case of the Northern Region of the Republic of Namibia. Global Journal of Health Science, 11(12), 1-55.

Ikoh, M. U., Smah, S. O., Okwanya, I., Clement, U. A., & Aposhi, Z. A. (2019). Factors affecting entry into drug abuse among youths in Lafia metropolis: implications on security. Sage open, 9(1), 2158244018823428.

Quigley, J. (2019). Alcohol use by youth. Pediatrics, 144(1).

Koketso, M. F., Calvin, M. J., & Prudence, M. (2019). Psychosocial and demographic factors that compound alcohol abuse amongst youth: A case study of Musina High School. Global Journal of Health Science, 11(7), 459-482.


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