The most popular theories of substance use could be sorted into five categories. Cognitive-affective theories consider how adolescents’ beliefs about the consequences of experimenting with specific substances contribute to their decisions to use those substances. (Petraitis J. , Flay B. R. , 1995). Young males with poor school results and low attendance can underestimate the risk of substance use. If he was grown up in the family where parents are addicted to alcohol or other substance he can think that this life style is not unusual.
In the preventive medicine when use this theoretical approach they focus on increasing adolescents’ beliefs about negative consequences of using drugs, highlighting the benefits of not using drugs, and correcting inflated estimates or perceptions of drug use. Social learning theories assume that adolescents acquire their beliefs about substance use and other delinquent behaviors from their role models, friends, and parents (Petraitis J. , Flay B. R. , 1995). This theory is very attractive to apply for the problem of adolescent addictive behavior.
The role of friends is crucial, it’s also important to take in the account the images of teen leaders. Some modern idols of youth (like rock-stars) are known as drug users. In the preventive activities using those theories it is important to provide adolescents with positive role models, and to teach them refusal skills and the belief that they can resist drugs. Conventional commitment and social attachment theories assume that the emotional attachments adolescents have with peers who use substances is the cause of substance use. (Petraitis J. , Flay B. R. , 1995).
In this case the best preventive strategies is improving bonds between adolescents and positive peer groups. Such groups have norms that discourage them from engaging in deviant behavior. Interventions focus on improving adolescents’ academic and career skills, providing them with career opportunities, and teaching parents how to socialize and reinforce their children. Intrapersonal theories examine how adolescents’ personality characteristics, emotions, and behavioral skills contribute to their substance use. Examples include stress at school, self-esteem, social interaction skills, coping skills, and emotional distress (Petraitis J., Flay B. R. , 1995).
The preventive interventions target many of these individual characteristics of adolescents rather than focusing on their beliefs about specific drugs and behaviors. Comprehensive theories combine components from all of the other theories. They attempt to account for how adolescents’ biology, personality, relationships with peers and parents, and culture or environment interacts to cause drug use. In the monograph “Theories on Drug Abuse: Selected Contemporary Perspectives” published in 1980 authors proposed some theoretical approaches for understanding the gender peculiarities of substance use.
They described several tens of theories; the most of them could be classified as comprehensive and Conventional commitment and social attachment theories. For example “personality deficiency theory” by Ausubel regards drug abuse as a result of an individual’s social involvement with drug-using age mates: Ausbell supposed that “adolescent who is motivationally immature, in addition to commonly having ready access to drugs and living in a socio-cultural milieu attitudinally tolerant of drug use” is the most vulnerable. Bejerot proposed Theory “addiction-to pleasure”.
Chein describes environmental issues of drug abuse among adolescents in the «Disruptive environment theory». In his studies of juvenile males he found that the majority did not begin their experimentation with drugs until they were in their late teens, frequently not until they had stopped attending school. Young users who become addicts showed evidence of deep personality disturbances prior to the onset of drug use. The most of young drug addicts live in the urban slums. They share addiction to substances with other kinds of delinquent behavior.
These adolescents were characterized by a special orientation to life, in particular by general pessimism, negativism, and mistrust so on. These attitudes stem from a family life. Their parents have low income and poor educated; they have little hope of a better future for either themselves or their children. In these families there is a lack of love and support for the children and no clear standards of behavior. Teenager lost emotional contact with his parents, there is nobody to whom he can relate in a warm and sustained fashion. Incomplete lost theory by Coleman views drug addiction as a means of coping with a traumatic family experience.