User:Shirh1234/bagrut project/Teenagers and Drugs

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Throw the years more and more teenagers are exposed to drugs. It can be the answer to new excitement and adventures. Most teenagers that use drugs are not aware of the consequences and affects they have on them in the future. In our days reality there are many things that have a direct influence about teenagers approach toward drugs; celebrity role models, music, friends, family, but is there a connection between socio-economic levels and teenagers approach to drugs? This is the question that I am willing to search for in this project;

The Relationship Between Levels of Socio-Economic Status and Teenagers Approach Toward 'light' Drugs (marijuana and hashish). My project assumption is that as the teenager's socio-economic level is higher, his approach towards drugs is more positive. My assumption is based on the fact that children to a wealthy family, with a high socio-economic level, have more free time and less challenges in life, therefore the possibility that they will try 'light' drug at least once is higher than the possibility that a child to a poor family will try.



Adolescence is a transitional stage of physical and mental human development that occurs between childhood and adulthood. This transition involves biological, social, and psychological changes, though the biological or physiological ones are the easiest to measure objectively. The end of adolescence and the beginning of adulthood varies by country and by function, as even within a single country there will be different ages at which an individual is considered mature enough to be entrusted with particular tasks, such as driving a vehicle, having sexual relations, serving in the armed forces, voting, or marrying. Also, adolescence is usually accompanied by an increased independence allowed by the parents or legal guardians and less supervision, contrary to the preadolescence stage. The process of rapid physical changes in adolescence is called puberty. It starts gradually, from around eleven years for girls and thirteen for boys. The age at which puberty starts has been dropping in most countries, probably due to better nutrition. The hormone changes responsible actually begin some years earlier and may produce periods of moodiness and restlessness. Girls start these changes before boys and will, for the first three or four years, appear to be maturing much faster. Adolescent psychology is associated with notable changes in mood sometimes known as mood swings. Cognitive, emotional and attitudinal changes which are characteristic of adolescence, often take place during this period, and this can be a cause of conflict on one hand and positive personality development on the other. The home is an important aspect of adolescent psychology: home environment and family have a substantial impact on the developing minds of teenagers, and these developments may reach a climax during adolescence. In the search for a unique social identity for themselves, adolescents are frequently confused about what is 'right' and what is 'wrong. It should also be noted that adolescence is the stage of a psychological breakthrough in a person's life when the cognitive development is rapid and the thoughts, ideas and concepts developed at this period of life greatly influence the individual's future life, playing a major role in character and personality formation.

Socioeconomic Status

A family's socioeconomic status is based on family income, parental education level, parental occupation, and social status in the community. Socioeconomic status (SES) is an economic and sociological combined total measure of a person's work experience and of an individual's or family’s economic and social position relative to others, based on income, education, and occupation. Socioeconomic status is typically broken into three categories, high SES, middle SES, and low SES to describe the three areas a family or an individual may fall into. When placing a family or individual into one of these categories any or all of the three variables (income, education, and occupation) can be assessed. Income refers to wages, salaries, profits, rents and any flow of earnings received. Income can also come in the form of unemployment or workers compensation, social security, pensions, interests or dividends, royalties, trusts, alimony, or other governmental, public, or family financial assistance. Educational attainment is preferable to analyze for SES because it can be figured for all individuals. A person’s educational attainment is considered to be the highest level of education they have completed. Occupation prestige as one component of SES encompasses both income and educational attainment. Occupational status reflects the educational attainment required to obtain the job and income levels that vary with different jobs and within ranks of occupations. Additionally, it shows achievement in skills required for the job. Occupational status measures social position by describing job characteristics, decision making ability and control, and psychological demands on the job.

'Light' Drugs
Marijuana and Hashish

A drug, broadly speaking, is any chemical substance that, when absorbed into the body of a living organism, alters normal bodily function. Because psychoactive substances bring about subjective changes in consciousness and mood that the user may find pleasant or advantageous, many psychoactive substances are abused, that is, used excessively, despite risks or negative consequences. There are countless kinds of drugs, but teen agers usually use the 'light' kind; marijuana or hashish (charas), for example. Cannabis, also known as marijuana or marihuana, or ganja, is a psychoactive drug extracted from the plant cannabis sativa, or more often, Cannabis sativa subsp. The herbal form of the drug consists of dried mature flowers and subtending leaves of female plants.

Marijuana a dry, shredded green/brown mix of flowers, stems, seeds, and leaves of the plant Cannabis sativa, it usually is smoked as a cigarette (joint, nail), or in a pipe (bong). It also is smoked in blunts, which are cigars that have been emptied of tobacco and refilled with marijuana, often in combination with another drug. It might also be mixed in food or brewed as a tea. As a more concentrated, resinous form it is called hashish and, as a sticky black liquid, hash oil. Marijuana smoke has a pungent and distinctive, usually sweet-and-sour odor. 

The main active chemical in marijuana is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). The membranes of certain nerve cells in the brain contain protein receptors that bind to THC. Once securely in place, THC kicks off a series of cellular reactions that ultimately lead to the high that users experience when they smoke marijuana. Within a few minutes after inhaling marijuana smoke, an individual’s heart begins beating more rapidly, the bronchial passages relax and become enlarged, and blood vessels in the eyes expand, making the eyes look red. The heart rate, normally 70 to 80 beats per minute, may increase by 20 to 50 beats per minute or, in some cases, even double. Humans have been consuming cannabis since prehistory. It is estimated that about four percent of the world's adult population (162 million) use cannabis annually and 0.6 percent (22.5 million) daily.

Socioeconomic Levels Influence on Teenagers

The family is the basic unit of society. Families are composed of parents and their children who live in a community. Stressful events in life cause trouble to a teenager who attends school or not. Stressful life events may include divorce or separation of parents, low grades in school, and poverty. The problems of teenagers involving drug abuse and alcohol abuse are primarily caused by stressful life events, peer influence, and failure of parents to take their children away from harmful activities. In short, some teenagers who are unable to gain success in academic matters may choose deviant modes of adaptation to deal with their failure. In addition, poverty may also cause stress to teenagers. Logically, inability of parents to provide enough resources for the physical and financial needs of a teenager is unacceptable but existing today. Some teenagers are forced to be exposed to environmental toxins and family violence, suffer instability of residence, and fewer learning experiences due to poverty. Others are forced to work while studying just to make both ends meet. As a result, some teenagers are involved in illegal activities like drug pushing which makes them mingle with people who are considered bad influence for them. If teenagers are exposed to illegal activities, resorting to drug abuse cannot be avoided. Therefore, stressful events like poverty, divorce, and lack of proper education must be abated or lessened in order to prevent teenagers from resorting to drug abuse. In the other hand, a study published in the December 2008 journal of Psychological Science found that children of parents with a high socioeconomic status tended to express more "disengagement" behaviors than their less fortunate peers. Researches discovered that disengagement behavior can bring teenagers to illegal activities like using drugs.


Every person, with no exceptional had been through the stage of adolescence. This stage can start and ends in a different age at each person, as well as in different cultures.

According to psychologists the function quality in this period of time tells about the qualities in other periods.

This stage brings a lot of personality and character changes that will affect the teenager for the rest of his life. Because of this period length, it is acceptable to divide it to three different periods: early adolescence, middle adolescence and the late adolescence (A.Saruf 1998). In the search for a unique social identity for themselves, adolescents are frequently confused about what is 'right' and what is 'wrong but In order to cross this stage successfully, a teenager need to stay away from thing that will damage him physically and mentally, in another words- to stay away from bad guys and trouble. The age of adolescence is a critical age from the aspect of joining to the circle of psycho-active substitutes; the teenagers are more vulnerable to the drug influence. The answer to my project question is defiantly complex. Teenagers who are located in a high socio-economic level can suffer at lack of challenges; on the other hand, teenagers who are located in a low socio-economic level can turn to the drug as a result to all of their problems.