Contemporary Issues and Resources

Research the range of contemporary issues teenagers face today. In a 500-750-word paper,
choose one issue (besides teen pregnancy) and discuss its effect on adolescent behavior and
overall well-being. Include the following in your submission:
Describe the contemporary issue and explain what external stressors are associated with
this issue.
Outline assessment strategies to screen for this issue and external stressors during an
assessment for an adolescent patient. Describe what additional assessment questions you
would need to ask and define the ethical parameters regarding what you can and cannot
share with the parent or guardian.
Discuss support options for adolescents encountering external stressors. Include specific
support options for the contemporary issue you presented.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located
in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.
This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment
to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

Contemporary Issues and Resources

The age between 13 and 19 is very critical in the growth and development of a person.
This age referred to as teenage comes along with many challenges that may influence the
lifetime of a person. During teenage, a person is venerable to various internal and external
struggles. Some of these struggles are a result of hormonal changes, adolescent, educational and
parental forces. Notably, many teenagers feel that no one understands them. Thus, parents need
to approve the thoughts and feelings of this age group. Approaching teenagers with caution can
help them deal with modern challenges and pursue a normal life in the future. Among the
modern challenges that affect teenagers are depression, teenage pregnancy, defiant behaviors,
drug addiction and many more. In this study, we will discuss drug addiction as a contemporary
issue that affects teenagers. The content is important in understanding the thoughts and feelings
of this age group and could be used to ensure that young people live a healthy and comfortable

Substance addiction or drug addiction is a disorder that affects a person’s mind making
them unable to control the use of both illegal and legal substances. Choate, (2015) states that
drug addiction is one of the most serious problems that affect teenagers around the globe.
However, early treatment can help mitigate the consequences of addiction. Some of the most
abused drugs are marijuana, tobacco, alcohol, and cocaine unfortunately; many teenagers believe
that using such drugs is part of growing up. They forget that the use of these substances pose
significant risks and has many dangerous consequences. Most teenagers begin with prescription
drugs and then move to use the drugs recreationally. Some begin abusing substances because of
peer pressure while some are moved by the lyrics of their favorite songs that pointy out to using
drugs recreationally. McCabe (2017) explain that some teenagers begin by stealing these
drugs from their parent’s cabinets and end up addicted at last. Despite the way an adolescent
begins to use a substance, the fact remains that drug addiction has severe consequences.
Almost all addictive drugs affect the reward pathway of the mind. Smith, & Lipsey
(2015) say that this part of the brain is responsible for motivation. Once induced, the substance
triggers over the production of chemicals in the reward part and thus the user feels high. For
example, the overproduction of dopamine results in feelings of relief, relaxation, and euphoria.
Interestingly, the production of dopamine makes the user feel over-excited. However, the real
purpose of dopamine is not to make people feel excited. Dopamine is produced normally to
induce survival-related behaviors such as creating relationship bonds, eating and sleeping and
sleeping. When a substance is abused, it causes overproduction of dopamine which is contrary to
its major purpose (Jang, 2017). Thus the user does not perceive the need for creating bonds,
eating or sleeping. The continuous use of the substances causes’ dependency and thus the user
feels inactive in the absence of the substance.

They are several external factors that lead to substance addiction. These factors include
bullying, parental and educational pressures as well as peer pressure. When an adolescent faces
such issues they feel depressed and lonely and thus turn to the drug for solace. The drugs once
induced cause the overproduction of dopamine a hormone that is responsible for motivation in
teenagers. Thus the adolescent can deal with feelings of loneliness and stress in his initial days of
using the drug. However, after some time the teenager becomes dependent on the drug and thus
begins using it more frequently and this lack of control is termed as addiction (Choate, 2015).
The signs of dependency are noticeable as the victim is unable to sleep, eat or make meaningful
relationships. Thus, the adolescent’s health status begins to deteriorate. They can no longer deal
with stress or make sound decisions without using the substance. Fortunately, early treatment is
useful and capable of eliminating drug addiction symptoms.
One of the best ways of assessing an adolescent with substance abuse is therapy. During a
therapy session, the teen gets to speak to a specialist about his life the reasons that make them
engage in the drug abusive behavior (Smith, & Lipsey 2015). The specialist can note and
document the important aspects that may attribute to the abusive behavior. After therapy, the
doctor can determine the stage of addiction the patient is in and make the recommendations on
the treatment formula that is to be pursued. The doctor may recommend physical medication or
continuous therapy sessions. However, the law of confidentiality suggests that the conversations
with the patient cannot be shared with a third party without the knowledge of the patient. Thus, if
the adolescent faces pressure from the parents, the specialist seeks ways to address the problem
without informing them what the patient said to the doctor. Thus everything that is said to the
specialist is kept between them and the patient and is not accessible to a third party without the
consent of the patient.

Drug addiction is among the contemporary issues that continue to effects adolescents in
the US. Some of the forces that lead to the issue include peer pressure, bullying, educational and
parental pressure. Fortunately, the early treatment of this disorder is beneficial. One of the ways
the disorder could be assed is through therapy. In a therapy session, everything that is said is kept
between the patient and the specialist according to the law of confidentiality. Passing the
information of a therapy session to a third party may have severe consequences that would affect
the process of treatment.


Choate, P. W. (2015). Adolescent alcoholism and drug addiction: The experience of
parents. Behavioral Sciences, 5(4), 461-476.
Jang, J. B., Patrick, M. E., Keyes, K. M., Hamilton, A. D., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2017). Frequent
binge drinking among US adolescents, 1991 to 2015. Pediatrics, 139(6), e20164023.
McCabe, S. E., West, B. T., Veliz, P., McCabe, V. V., Stoddard, S. A., & Boyd, C. J. (2017).
Trends in medical and nonmedical use of prescription opioids among US adolescents:
1976–2015. Pediatrics, 139(4), e20162387.
Tanner-Smith, E. E., & Lipsey, M. W. (2015). Brief alcohol interventions for adolescents and
young adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of substance abuse
treatment, 51, 1-18.