The Relationship Between Drug Abuse and Teens' Sexual Health Issues
Even though a number of studies have been done on teens drug abuse, only few of these studies have given much attention to the relationship between teens drug abuse and their sexual health issues. The increasing cases of teenagers’ sexual health challenges call for a fresh and keen examination of factors that are responsible for this alarming development. However, recent researches have hinted that there are close and dangerous relationships between drug abuse and sexual behaviors among teenagers (Rees, Argys, & Averett, 2001). This paper, therefore, seeks uncover the relationships between drug abuse and deteriorating sexual health among the teenagers.
Importance of the Research
In order to address teenagers’ health issues, it is important for one to understand and relate all other challenges that are facing this dynamic age group. Of all the challenges facing today’s teenagers, drug abuse presents the biggest and worst threat. Various researchers have repeatedly pointed out that the number of teenage drug abusers is continuing to increase in most societies and this trend has also caused sexual health hazards to many teenagers (CASACU, 2001).
According the third nationally-representative survey done by Kaiser Family Foundation and the Seventeen Magazine in May 2001, teens are more likely to discuss their drug related problems than their sexual health issues. As such, health practitioners are likely to miss several opportunities of addressing these sexual health problems if they are not knowledgeable on the relationships between these teens drug abuse and their sexual health. This study is therefore important as it will sensitize doctors and other stakeholders in addressing sexual health issues that teens may not be ready to disclose to anyone except their peers.
Teens Drug Abuse
Survey done by CASACU reported that three quarters of high school students have used drugs such as tobacco, alcohol and bhang while almost half of the high school students are current users of different drugs. The statistics from this survey also indicates that a quarter of the people who started using drugs when they were below 18 years are drug addicts while only one out of 25 people of those people who start using drugs at the age of 21 or later becomes a drug addict (CASACU, 2001). Despite these disturbing statistics, use of drugs among teens can hardly be termed as bad behavior in the current society since most of the teens sees it as a rite of passage, by which they can prove their ‘worth’.
Teens’ Sexual Health Issues
In addition to the general sexual health issues that are common at all stages of life, teens have other special issues that range from sexual decision making to peer-influenced sexual behaviors. Though cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have reduced among adults, teens are still faced with this danger. Most of sexually active teens are involved in unprotected sex with multiple partners (Rees, Argys & Averett, 2001).Drug abuse and irresponsible sexual behaviors among teens usually results in a vicious cycle of sexual health complications.
The threat of conceiving unwanted pregnancies while under the influence of drugs has made teenage girls to misuse the contraceptive pills and other dangerous birth control practices (Rees, Argys & Averett, 2001). The story of my friend who has found herself under the bondage of alcohol, as a means of short-term relief from her uncontrollable and painful menstrual cycles exemplifies the dangers of teenage drug abuse and addiction. Since her introduction into the world of alcohol, the friend has been using contraceptive pills as if they were part of her meals in order to keep her from conceiving during her frequent sexual intercourses. The abuse of these pills has now introduced her to long menstrual cycles with a lot of pain that she can only endure under the influence of drugs.
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