The Effects of Psychoactive Substance Abuse on Young People

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In many societies, drug and alcohol consumption among adults, especially males, is socially acceptable. Over the past four decades, however, and more notably since the "hippie" period when post-war babies began growing into adulthood and drug laws were relaxed (WHO 2006), psychoactive substance abuse has become increasingly prevalent in the youth, with dire mental, physical and social consequences.


Drug and alcohol abuse have adverse effects on the mental health of young people, impacting on their ability to learn and to progress normally in the education system. Cannabis, for example, impairs cognitive development, in particular associative processes and recall, and affects the intoxicated student's ability to concentrate (WHO 2006), while cocaine consumption results in a range of cerebral complications, ranging from hallucination to paranoia (Wikipedia 2006). Many studies reveal a correlation between drug/alcohol abuse and poor grades, as well as with other behavior that inhibit learning, making substance abuse one of the top problems in youth education today.
Psychoactive substance abuse also has a negative impact on the body. Both cannabis and alcohol impair psychomotor performance and visual perception, resulting in many fatal motor vehicle accidents, as well as complications such as seizures, and lung, kidney and brain damage (WHO 2006). ...
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