In Oakland, one of the top social barricades  in the community is the massive influence that drugs have in the this city, drugs are a burden to have in a city or even a small community because it reeks havoc wherever they are found or end up. The people who use them most likely have some unsolved conflicts with themselves or within their close family or friends.

Peer Pressure is one of the reasons that drugs have such a substantial amount of influence in the communities of Oakland and living or growing up with drugs around your environment is not uncommon. Most children are curious and early exposure to drugs increases the chances of them wanting to use drugs in the future. Some information that was given to me was of Kareem when he was a teen and that his first personal experience with drugs, which he said was when he was just 12 years old. When Coach Kareem from Life Academy was asked about his childhood and how drugs played a role, his response was, “My first personal experience with drugs was under a bridge with a group of friends to smoke some weed and we thought we knew what we were doing…I was trying to be cool… (Kareem). The interview was very deep and detailed to the point in which it gives great evidence and provides requisite that supports my claim. Further examination of what was said in the interview, it is clear that due to his early exposure to drugs he was ‘peer pressured’ to smoke weed with his friends at the time. In theory you are more likely to take drugs or be pressured into taking them because of the influences around you. Some more evidence that supports my argument is that addiction in youth is affected by the influences the parents place onto their children. For example “children enjoy playing in and exploring their natural world – backyard, park and beach. At the same time they are learning about their built world around them – roads, houses, shops, schools. They will learn from you if you tell them why you do things  for example: when you recycle, mow, weed or paint the house.”

http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicDetails.aspx?p=114&np=122&id=1628.

This information is highly important in relation to the topic of this paragraph because it is widely known that children learn from experience and at the youngest ages where they don’t know what is right and wrong so they learn most from their parents before they are able to learn on their own which means if the child is to see their parents using drugs constantly then they will decide drugs are ok for them to take. Overall, it is clearly noticeable that one of the most popular reasons that a child is subjected to take drugs at such a young age is the undoubted fact that he or she has experienced drugs in their past and was compelled to fit in or felt peer pressured too because of the wild and  rampant use of them in their general vicinity.

Another very important reason that drugs are used is to try and counteract his or her broken family which can lead distress which makes youth naturally need some sort of comforting mechanism. This usually makes teens turn to negative things like drugs or alcohol because it’s easier than having to talk to someone who listens to you and slowly helps you build your courage and patience up. One of the interviews I had gave me a good amount of evidence to backup this second claim which I had with Ms.Christensen. She is my advisor and someone who had worked for a lengthy amount of time as a social worker for children who mostly had drugs involved in their lives one way or another, have it be directly or indirectly they are still connected in some way. Ms.Christensen told me a story about a young child who had temper problems, most likely due to the fact that his mother was an abuser, she told me the context of the event “I had to visit this kids who hated me the first time I visited him….by the time I had my last meeting with him he told me “do you remember the first time you came to seem me and how I threw rocks at your car?…well i’m gonna kinda miss you now.”(Christensen). This quote is very important because it shows that with time and patience you can change a child’s opinion on people and how not to fall victim to drugs as a buffer to their bad emotions. She helped that kid not fall into a deep and dark life of abuse and probably helped them become aware and careful of their decisions when involved with drugs. To further push my argument, there is a book named “Heads Up Psychology” which details a plethora of information of the human mind. The book detailed that “Australian psychologist Dorothy Rowe, who argued that unhappiness becomes depression when people feel guilty and blame themselves for the bad things that happen in their lives and their resulting misery.”(99). Another piece of evidence that is needed to understand the connection is, “Other psychologists suggested that it is not just the way parents, teachers, and other caregivers reward or punish us that shapes our behavior. Albert Bandura believed that we learn our behavior by  example.”(27). These quotes are of high importance to have because definitely helps argue with scientific backing that children rely on parental influences to make decisions and reflect on the behaviors and habits of their role models. If there was to be an opposing role model to the unfit ones then maybe it will influence  the child even more than the negative influences which will in a way rehabilitate them to become positive and not abuse drugs to cope with their emotions.

Others may argue that if drugs were harder to obtain or put more laws against drugs then maybe there will be less drug abusers. They may say that illegal drugs have no purpose and have to be stripped from the run down communities like Oakland to fix it and its people. My rebuttal to such a poorly devised plan is that since I’ve seen how laws have helped in a similar department so well before. Laws for guns did not work because of the fact that it’s impossible to only source gun distribution from one place and same goes for drugs, you cannot try to weed out all of the dealers they will keep sprouting out and will not stop no matter how much laws are placed against both. It’s better to just aid the addicts or drug abusers by providing drug rehab support for people who apply or even as a every 6 months check up and to have people self test every week and send the information to their doctor or therapist. It would take forever for the problem to fully disperse but even if we did do something like this for a plan to combat drug abuse in the states, how would it stop all the “private” drug dealers who can appear and disappear from society as quickly as the came. In conclusion, even if we wanted to combat drug abuse and tightened laws and restrictions on them it would still be nearly impossible for drug dealers and their sources to be fully weeded out.

Overall, the main reason why drugs are so highly used by youth is because of the accessibility of them, the perception that they are ok and that they are quick and relieve your emotions quickly. It was also stated that people use drugs because of peer pressure and because it helps relieve the youth of their problems even if they don’t know the side effects.

Websites used for info:https://www.ncadd.org/about-addiction/drugs/understanding-addiction

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3664402/

http://www2.oaklandnet.com/oakca1/groups/police/documents/webcontent/oak062295.pdf

Photo by e-MagineArt.com

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Drug Abuse in Oakland by Angel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

6 Comments
  1. Anayeli 6 months ago

    Dear Angel,
    I agree with your statement about how most teens are influenced into drugs by peer pressured, which is very true. Especially in small communities around Oakland, CA, I am sure there’s a lot of drug abuse happening among teenagers. Your piece of writing was awesome, I liked how you explained everything in detail and expressed your own thoughts on the conflict. Something else I found interesting and I have to agree one hundred percent is in your 4th paragraph, when you talked about teens falling into the influence of drugs to try and counteract their broken family. This is where a lot of teenagers feel lonely and depressed that they use drugs to feel better or happy. Definitely liked how everything connected and how fluent it sounded. The interviews were great as well, I think that was amazing and intelligent to do, it makes your readers intrigued and wanting to read more. Can’t wait to read more of your posts.
    Best,
    Anayeli

  2. Alexander 7 months ago

    Dear Angel,

    I am intrigued by your post “Drug Abuse in Oakland” because you support your claim by adding interviews and having strong analysis. Interviews can be a strong source of evidence with real people that are sharing they’re thought and experiences. One sentence you wrote that stands out for is: “his early exposure to drugs he was ‘peer pressured’ to smoke weed with his friends… you are more likely to take drugs or be pressured into taking them because of the influences around you.” I think this analysis is compelling because peer pressure can influenced anyone to associate with drugs or any other negative events.Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next, because if you can connect to drugs with peer pressure and other events, then you have the creativity to add more evidence and analysis to make your argument even stronger. Your thoughts can expressed many ideas and interest your audience to see the outcome of the event on one another.

    • Author
      Angel 6 months ago

      Dear Alexander,
      I love your kind words and comments to my post were very amusing to read but id like to know into more depth on what you liked about the post. I would love to receive some creative criticism from you as well if that’s not too much to ask. Do you have any similar writings on this subject? if so would you mind giving some help on what I could improve on in my future posts.

  3. Luna 7 months ago

    Dear Angel,

    I agree with your post, "Drug Abuse in Oakland," because I think it actually addresses why most people choose to take drugs. It also shows that drug can be a big issue in Oakland, and mostly for the kids who live there.

    One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “If there was to be an opposing role model to the unfit ones then maybe it will influence the child even more than the negative influences which will in a way rehabilitate them to become positive and not abuse drugs to cope with their emotions.” I think this is a true statement because since people can influence kids to take drugs, there could also be other people that can influence kids that drugs can’t solve their problems.

    Another sentence that I noticed was: “Laws for guns did not work because of the fact that it’s impossible to only source gun distribution from one place and same goes for drugs, you cannot try to weed out all of the dealers they will keep sprouting out and will not stop no matter how much laws are placed against both.” This stood out for me because I think that laws won’t help people stop taking drugs, but they time and someone to actually help them stop taking drugs.

    Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next because it makes you think more about the issues in Oakland and our society.

    Best,
    Luna

    • Author
      Angel 6 months ago

      Dear Luna,
      Thank you for reading and quoting my with such precision, I would like to know if you noticed any flaws or slip ups in my writing and could make me aware of it, it would be greatly appreciated of you. I would like to write about more of these types of subjects but dont know what I could write about, have any topics that I could write about?

  4. Oliver 7 months ago

    Dear Angel,

    I am somewhat pleased with your post “Drug abuse in Oakland” because of how you were expressing more of your ideas towards this instead of writing half-answered sentences. It shows the concept of writing this and explaining words on your own, plus it was dragging the reader into the idea. One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is:“Do you remember the first time you came to seem me and how I threw rocks at your car?…Well I’m gonna kinda miss you now.” I think this is rather funny because of how the student with a temper was just being himself and bringing up that part into the past. I know this might not be rude of me to say this is funny, since this was used as evidence instead for shats and giggles. Another sentence that I notice was: “Australian psychologist Dorothy Rowe, who argued that unhappiness becomes depression when people feel guilty and blame themselves for the bad things that happen in their lives and their resulting misery.” This stood out for me because of how I could relate towards this. I would feel guilty and blame myself for the idiotic things i have done in my past. It’s rather not use drug use or others but rather personal feelings other usually friends or so one, how if I changed myself a bit slightly, it won’t end bad gg myself. I don’t fully agree with you on the if a child saw their parents taking drugs and thinking if it’s okay to do it. One reason I say this is that usually if a child see their parents do it, they would try to compare it with other adults to see if it is okay to do drugs. Another reason I disagree with you is, parents would still try to play the parent role on trying to not make their child do terrible things like do drugs or other violence acts. Even if they do that, parents deeply care for their child’s life and don’t want to screw it up. Thanks for your writing. I am looking forward to seeing what you write next, because I really like the type of ideas to use to express your story to your readers. It quite interest me to see the cause and the effect on one another. Your thoughts will interest others and I really hope you do write more in the future!

    Best,
    Grace

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