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Aubree Johnson
Mrs. Debock
English 4 Honors
March 17th, 2015
Causes of Teen Drug Use
As the transition between adolescence and adulthood is one of the most important
developmental stages in ones life, here are many different factors that could cause teen drug use.
Research shows that parents have a huge influence on teens when it comes to drug use. Teen
drug use can also be contributed from stress-overload and bad coping skills. Family relational
closeness, stress, and parent permissiveness are the three main causes of teen substance abuse.
Firstly, family relational closeness is a cause of teen drug use. Research shows that a
familys closeness has a huge role when it comes to drug use (Becona 293). Through studies it is
shown when teens have an equal balance between a mother and father figure he or she are at a
lower risk of drug use (Becona 292). The switch between adolescence and adulthood is one of
the biggest times for development in a teens life. Downs states that when a parent
responsiveness to adolescence signals of development is lacking it could result in poor decision
making, such as drug use. When teens are missing an important adult figure in his or her life, it
could result in developmental problems ultimately leading to bad decision making skills, such as
drug use.
Secondly, stress is a cause of drug use. According to Coleman, Interaction between
stress, high levels of neuroticism, and low levels of conscientiousness would be the greatest
predictor of major drug use. Stress overload is becoming a huge cause of teen drug use. Teens

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are overdoing everyday activities which is damaging their development which could result in bad
coping skills, such as self-medicating. Through studies it is show that teens may use drugs to
self-medicate any type of stress related problems which could ultimately result in a substance
addiction (Coleman 54). Adolescence are becoming reliant on drugs to treat their everyday
problems instead of facing them head on, ultimately only making the problems they had before
Finally, parent permissiveness is a cause of teen drug use. According to Beconas article,

results showed the important role played by young peoples perception of their parents

permissiveness concerning drug use. We found that, adolescents who perceived their parents as
more permissive towards substance use were more likely to report using drugs. It also may
become a cause when parents are too strict or controlling as it could cause stress, resulting in
drug use (Becona 293). Another factor may be, when parents do not discipline correctly when
substance abuse occurs, could only make the problem worse.
Drug use has many different causes stress, family relational closeness, and parent
permissiveness being the main three. The stage between childhood and adulthood is a crucial
developmental period, leaving parents to have a major role in teens drug use. Ones home life has
a huge effect on the development of a teen and when not properly developed could lead to
serious substance abuse problems. Stress is also a cause of drug use if one does not use proper
coping skills to deal with the stress.

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Works Cited
Becoa, Elisardo, et al. "Parental Permissiveness, Control, and Affect and Drug Use Among
Adolescents." Psicothema 25.3 (2013): 292-298. Fuente Acadmica. Web. 17 Mar. 2015.
Coleman, Jennifer, and Joseph Trunzo. "Personality, Social Stress, and Drug Use Among College
Students." Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research 20.1 (2015): 52-56. Academic
Search Complete. Web. 17 Mar. 2015.
Downs A, Seedall R, Taylor N, Downs K. Attachment-Based Considerations for Addressing
Adolescent Substance Use (ASU) in a Family Context. American Journal of Family
Therapy [serial online]. January 2015;43(1):28-43. Academic Search Complete, Ipswich,
MA. Accessed March 11, 2015.