Studies regarding substance abuse (alcohol included) yielded results that clearly associate self esteem closely to it. Those who are engaged in alcohol use in later or older age do so because they have learned the use of it in their early and moldable years (11 years old or 5th & 6th grade). Consequently, attempts have been made to deal with the area of self-esteem in hopes that when this psychological problem among teens is addressed properly, substance abuse might somehow be curbed.
There are programs that cater to this need and they are actually placed side by side with the traditional curriculums of some schools. Experts and researchers believe that this quandary of alcohol abuse among teens may be helped by treating it in a stage where it is less obvious – that is, when the youngster is not yet manifesting or is obviously using alcohol, but on the brink of experimenting on it (Donnelly, 2007). The line of attack of this particular method is directed towards factors that are crucial to the make up of adolescents’ life experiences.
Understanding the transitions that teenagers most likely will go through is the underlying principle that facilitated the study that eventually led to the formation of this program. Hence, the high hopes that the proponents of this program maintain. In this paper, the author tries to explore and explain the rubric of the particular synopsis mentioned above and to finally (in the process) convince its readers of its viability in decreasing the problem of alcoholism among teens and young adults in the coming years.
It explains the rationale behind the effectiveness of the curriculum since the whole program is aimed at the core level of the perpetual potential problem of alcohol addiction. ~What you learned. The National Association for Self-Esteem (NASE), as the very name of the association clearly implies, believe that the self-esteem of the individual plays a major role why or why not that particular person is using/abusing or not using/abusing alcohol. The observation is that teenagers with low self esteem have higher likelihood to experiment not only with alcohol but with other harmful psychoactive substances than those with high self-esteem.
Furthermore, their studies yield evidences that point to the fact that individuals with positive self-esteem show not only little serious involvement with addictive substances but lesser tendency to risk trying the pleasures of these drugs. Convinced of this observation, self-esteem proponents constantly research and write articles that speak to the issue. They support a prevention program which has within it as crucial part “self-esteem enhancement. ” Not any prevention program or traditional approach to the problem will achieve a longer-lasting effect.
Overwhelming data available have proven that traditional school programs are not sufficient to address the issue; in order to be really effective in curbing alcoholism among teenagers, it is very important that as researches yield additional information, new strategies should be incorporated and employed as well. Important factors along with self-esteem that must be tackled include: personal efficacy, ability to decide wisely for oneself, and communication skills, etc. These areas must be developed since they influence and affect the behavior of an individual.
It is believed that when these basic skills are taught and cultivated, rather than concentrating on the harmful effects of alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs, the benefits will be much more than the reduction of the likelihood of teenagers and young adults to use and abuse drugs. Involvement with other behavioral correlates like unsafe sexual encounters, and teenage pregnancy, will also diminish. The timing of the implementation of this kind of preventive program in schools for it to really achieve its goal among teenagers is also emphasized. It has to be implemented early, or else, its efficacy will lessen.
Dr. Joseph Donnelly (self-esteem proponent) said: “It is much easier to prevent adolescents from ever engaging in the use of substances than it is to deter that use once it has begun. ” ~One question you have. Self-esteem is indeed all important aspect that influences other facets of an adolescent’s life. Question remains especially to one who had had enormous experiences in psychotherapy and in dealing with myriad problems and situations/scenarios besetting the youth experimenting with alcohol: cynics question the simplistic apprehension and approach.
What about the role of modeling by parents hardly making breakthroughs in these adolescents who make alcohol their refuge but also as a way of life like their parents did? Reference: Donnelly, Joseph. Self-Esteem and it’s Relationship to Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention in Adolescents. Dept. of Health Professions/PERLS National Association for Self-esteem. Accessed January 2008. <http://www. self-estee
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