Drugs and delinquent behavior are definitely two major issues that today's youth struggle with. In my opinion, there are different reasons why a young individual would proceed only down the drug pathway instead of the drug and delinquent pathway.
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First, drugs are easier to get and harder for adults to hold young people accountable for possessing and using. I recently had a discussion with a close friend whose child was abusing controlled prescription medication. Apparently her child was stealing medicine out of the medicine cabinet. I looked this up online and it is a growing problem (Bruno, 2008). Another good example of abusing controlled substances is the use of alcohol; children can drink after their parents go to bed or when their parents aren't home. In addition, alcohol cannot be tested for once it has been completely metabolized. Clearly, young people have a clear line of access to drugs and they know what to do to hide their behavior effectively.
Second, drugs have less of a perceived repercussion than delinquent behavior. If a young person skips out on a day of high school, the administration must notify the parents. The young person ends up getting detention and possibly even repercussions at home. However, what happens if a young person puffs on a joint? Most likely, there will be no direct negative consequences in the relative timeframe. In my opinion, this is why drug prevention campaigns are so effective; they are able to show young people the consequences of using drugs with the hope that young people will say no.
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