Substance abuse is more of a crisis and a deadly problem with American youth now than it has ever been before in the history of the nation. In fact, the death rates from overdoses in Americans from the ages of 15 to 24 horrendously more than doubled from the years of 2000 to 2010, and high school students all across the nation were more likely than their peers in other countries to report lifetime use of alcohol, cocaine, ecstasy and methamphetamines alike.
The critical issue with adolescent substance abuse that has not yet been addressed is the issue of the education of addicted individuals. It has been scientifically proven that mental, cognitive, and logical development of the human mind and brain ceases to continue upon the inception of a drug or alcohol addiction. Because drugs and alcohol affect the human brain so much, when a young adult abuses drugs and alcohol the mind and brain of the individual is severely affected, causing most spheres and areas of development to come to a grinding halt.
This is why drug and alcohol abuse is so much more serious and critical amongst young adults. Young adults are the future leaders of the world, and young adults who have all cognitive development cut short at an early age will do little good for society, on top of already being addicted to drugs.
Educating those Addicted, a Difficult but Necessary Task
Presently, federal mandates do not require schools to accommodate the learning needs of children with substance abuse disorders. This is a seriously critical issue. Some type of education program for recovering adolescent individuals must be construed. Once a young adult has completed rehab and is no longer abusing drugs, he or she must be able to attain an education and must be able to have another chance at building cognitive, rational, and logical development of his or her mind and brain.
If an individual begins to abuse drugs heavily at the age of, say fifteen, his or her development mentally will cease at that point. Once he or she becomes clean from whatever substance that he or she was abusing, he or she will still have the cognitive, logical, rational, and thinking concepts of a fifteen-year old. This makes newly recovered young adult addicts very, very prone to relapse and prone to falling immediately back into addiction because they soon find that they cannot function in day to day adult life.
To prevent this from occurring, aftercare centers must be able to offer classes and educational segments so that newly recovered young adult addicts can expand their education and actually learn, as sober adults, how to also be ethical, intelligent, functioning, and contributing members of society.