The article “A lifetime development phase approach to the prevention of tobacco and other drug abuse” suggests that multiple phases of human development have a close association with prevention strategies and schemes for drug abuse (Sussman 1). Erikson’s theory of psychosocial growth in a person’s life also applies the analysis. In particular, the studies suggest that drug prevention and management are best carried out in the young age, the most critical time for Erikson’s psychosocial progress. This is due to the fact it is the stage where teenagers struggle to identify themselves both sexually and occupationally. Similarly many researchers have the opinion that the adolescent stage is when young teens are most curious, and therefore engage in drug experiments in search of identity and a place among other teens (Sussman 3).
As explained in Erikson’s theory, this developmental stage is characterized by intense exploration with a view of attaining self-identity. In this stage, children acquire the sense of independence where a child explores possibilities of their identity failure to which they experience role confusion. As such, in this article it is also considered that at this stage teenagers are vulnerable and prone to peer influence into drug and substance abuse. As such, teenagers are viewed as the ideal candidates of the life skill programs and social influences aimed at preventing and dealing with the prevalence of drug abuse.
Further, the article suggests that there are specific programs and instructions linked with this stage that would yield positively in the fight against tobacco and drug use among the teens today and also in the future. Some of the techniques suggested include first, counteraction of negative social influences, such as peer pressure into drug abuse, truancy among others. Second, provision of life and family skills, such as communication skills, awareness, and sensitization of adult influences, decision making, anti-tobacco, anti-drugs activism, and correction of misleading, perceived social beliefs (Sussman 7). The research also emphasizes the importance of strong family connections through implementing programs that purpose to strengthen family dynamics. For instance, parent training, family therapy, contingency management, social support trainings, and resource acquisition. Some of these programs are designed to provide families with relevant information and support in order to deal with drug abuse. Some of the important topics include education encouragement, peer attitudes, family communication, media orientation, adult supervision (Sussman 12).
It is, however, important to note that despite the vulnerability of teens to drug and substance abuse, the article clearly address the fact that drug abuse issues can be experienced at any developmental stage in an individual’s entire lifespan (Sussman, 15). It equally emphasizes that different developmental stages determine the most effective prevention programs and technique because of the different psychosocial experiences in the different developmental stages just as advanced by Erikson in his theory. The article is also in support of the ideology the basic virtues acquired at the developmental stages greatly influence the lifestyle of individuals more so with regards to tobacco and other drug abuse.
In conclusion, it is my view that Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development of an individual is of great relevance and indeed reflects the society’s experiences with regards to development of personality and self-identity. In addition, the focus of the teenage developmental stage in relation to tobacco and other drug abuse is indeed a true picture of the modern society. In fact, implementation of the findings in this study of drug prevention at this developmental stage would be effective in dealing with the prevalence of drug abuse especially among the teenagers. This is also the case due to addictions to social media and technological advancement that exposes teenagers to social influences the result in drug abuse.
Sussman, Steve. “A Lifespan Developmental-Stage Approach to Tobacco and Other Drug Abuse Prevention.” International Scholarly Research Notices, vol. 2013, 2013, pp. 1-19, www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2013/745783/, http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/745783.