Substance use among Adolescent Students: A Review of Emerging Trends, Addiction Biology and Evidence Based School Drug Prevention Programs

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Ms. Beoma Pandey, Dr. Pawan Kumar Sharma


Background: Drug menace among adolescents has been showing a rise all over the world. Studies have shown that adolescents begin experimenting with alcohol and drugs on average between the ages of 13 to15, implying that prevention efforts are best implemented in elementary education. This narrative review is aimed at studying prevalence of substance use among adolescent school students, exploring the underlying neurobiology of addictionand examining the efficacy of school-based drug prevention programs.

Method: Electronic databases were searched to find relevant articles published in Scopus indexed journals from the year 2016 onwards. A total of 12 research papers were carefully chosen for study.

Conclusion: The review revealed that alcohol is the most often used substance among high school students, followed by tobacco and cigarette. Emotional distress and peer group pressure came up as major precipitating factors that push an adolescent towards drug use. Drugs cause some neurobiological changes in brain that leads to addiction.This study also highlighted that sustained retraining is required to have long term effectiveness of school-based drug prevention programs which calls for the need of adding substance abuse prevention programmes in school curricula so that reinforcement can be done from time to time.

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