The act of using substances or drugs to change an individual`s mindset has persisted throughout human history

The act of using substances or drugs to change an individual`s mindset has persisted throughout human history. Today, drugs continue to abound in modern society. Movies and TV shows commonly illustrate adults partaking in illegal drug use. Even television commercials advertise the refreshing taste of an ice-cold beer. No wonder alcohol is the “drug of choice for most teenagers!” (Siegel, 405.) Drugs are too abundant and accessible. The different kinds of illicit substances that produce varying “highs,” make it exceedingly attractive to youngsters. The unseen consequences of such an endeavor creates avenues to addiction, behavioral problems, and increased criminal activity.
Drug addiction is one of the worst consequences of substance abuse. Interestingly, alcohol and marijuana are the drug of choice for most youngsters. According to the Juvenile Delinquency textbook, “Marijuana and alcohol are the most common drugs used by teenagers.” (Siegel, 404 & 405) Alcohol is legal and easily accessible to adults and is therefore attainable to youngsters. The stigmatization of cannabis decreased in recent years, becoming a more socially acceptable method of getting high. Comparatively to alcohol, cannabis does not cause addiction, nor is there any risk of overdose. However, users become mentally dependent on it to relax after a long day. It undercuts motivation, which can influence later delinquent behavior. Another easily accessible and extremely addictive drug is cigarettes. Its legal status guarantees its approachability to the youth. Although smoking has drastically decreased among all groups in recent decades, people in lower-income communities are still the heaviest smokers. In a periodical by writer Julia Haskins she states, “For Americans whose incomes fall below the federal poverty threshold, rates of smoking still hold at more than one-quarter of the group.” (Haskins) Therefore, smoking is not only highly addictive, but it also strains the wallets of disadvantaged youth.