Treating Child Drug Abuse in Developed Nations Research Paper

Pages: 16 (4758 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 15  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Health - Public Health Issues  ·  Written: November 8, 2019

(2014). For example, in sharp contrast to the prevailing negative views about alcohol use and young people in the United States, families in many European countries such as Italy and Germany have a far more relaxed perspective and it is not unusual for even very young children to partake of a glass of wine or to have a sip of beer at the dinner table.

Yet another important point to emerge from the literature review was the fact that the developed countries of interest to this study are not all homogeneous in demographic composition, and some demographic groups, especially minorities, tend to experience far greater prevalence levels of drug abuse (Leblanc, Drolet, Ducharme, et al. 2015). For instance, according to Eitle and Eitle (2018, p.24), in the United States, “The prevalence rates for substance use among American Indians is either the highest or among the highest for any racial/ethnic group in America. American Indians had the highest prevalence of current and lifetime alcohol use disorders and the highest prevalence rate of past-year drug use disorder.”

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Likewise, Goings, Salas-Wright, Howard, and Vaughn (2018) emphasize that youths that identify with having three or more racial/ethnic backgrounds are especially at risk of drug-abusing behaviors. In this regard, Goings and his colleagues (2018, p. 206) report that “With few exceptions, bi/multiracial youth in general report higher levels of tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, and other illicit drug use compared to other youth of color. Bi/multiracial youth also report higher levels of marijuana use compared to non-Hispanic white adolescents.” Given that these risk factors have been identified and in some cases exhaustively studied, it remains unclear why drug abuse interventions have not been more aggressively targeted at these populations in the past.

Research Paper on Treating Child Drug Abuse in Developed Nations Assignment

Taken together, it is clear that the public health issue of drug abuse among young people has been the focus of a growing body of research, and youths that are at elevated risk have been identified in a number of national settings (Kislitsyna, 2014). Nevertheless, it is equally clear that far more scholarship needs to be devoted to identifying what interventions work best in different venues and most especially why they work. Indeed, the sole universal factors that were identified in the studies and other literature reviewed was the importance of individualizing treatment protocols according to the unique needs of the young people involved and the need to actively involve parents and other family members in the process and these key results are examined and discussed further below.


The primary findings that emerged from the systematic review and thematic analysis of the literature included four main themes as follows: (1) the importance of a parental role in efficacious intervention strategies for young people that are abusing drugs; (2) the respective protective and risk factors that are associated with school-aged children substance-abusing behaviors; (3) early interventions are critical for successful outcomes; and (4) drug abuse has an adverse effect on young people’s health and academic performance. Each of these four themes is examined and discussed further below.


Despite increasingly aggressive efforts to develop and administer efficacious intervention strategies for drug-abusing young people, one of the main factors that are frequently overlooked is the need for parental involvement (Vist 2016). The focus of the majority of the interventions that have been developed for treating young people’s drug abuse has largely been on (1) providing them with information concerning the dangers of drug abuse and (2) providing them with the tools and resources they need to cope with powerful peer pressure in healthy ways that avoid succumbing to these pressures while maintaining their youthful integrity in the eyes of their counterparts (Russell, Gillis, Law and Coulliard 2018).

While these types of interventions have shown modest effectiveness, they typically involve the use of significant amounts of resources and ongoing staff training which constrain their use and consistent implementation. Consequently, less expensive treatment strategies are urgently needed to help young people avoid drug abuse in the first place by understanding its harmful effects and how to respond to peer pressure as well as to help them recover from such drug use if it has already started (Bergman et al. 2019).

One strategy that has demonstrated potential value in this regard is encouraging parents to become actively involved in teaching their children’s education concerning the dangers of drug abuse as well as viable strategies for responding to pressure from peers to engage in such behaviors. For example, a study by Bergman et al. (2019) found that including parents in drug abuse prevention programs improved the effectiveness of these strategies in reducing illicit drug use, including alcohol and cannabis, two of the drugs that are most frequently abused by young people today. In this regard, Bergman et al. (2019, p. 1460) conclude that “On the basis of student surveys conducted at the end of seventh and eighth grade, self-reported lifetime use of marijuana was 10.5% in the control group and 5.6% in the intervention group. Combined, lifetime use of alcohol or marijuana was higher in the control group (18.2%) than in the intervention group.”


One overarching risk factor for drug abuse among adolescents appears to relate to a combination of various environmental and genetic sources. For example, American Indian adolescents suffer the highest prevalence of drug abuse of any demographic group in North America (Eitle & Eitle 2018). Other risk factors that have been identified for exacerbating adolescent drug abuse include depression, poor coping skills, family conflict and having drug users in a young person’s peer network (Trudeau et al. 2017). In addition, students attending alternative school settings are also at higher risk of engaging in drug-abusing behaviors (Ames, Xie, Shono and Stacy 2017). Further, research has also shown that risk factors for… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Treating Child Drug Abuse in Developed Nations" Research Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Treating Child Drug Abuse in Developed Nations.  (2019, November 8).  Retrieved September 22, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Treating Child Drug Abuse in Developed Nations."  8 November 2019.  Web.  22 September 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Treating Child Drug Abuse in Developed Nations."  November 8, 2019.  Accessed September 22, 2020.