However, prevention of drug problems can employ knowledge about family dynamics to address personal and social concerns of family members that otherwise would lead to drug abuse, both with respect to dysfunctional as well as intact families. It is stressed that parents are always responsible for the problems experienced by their children or that substance users can be blamed for all the problems experienced by the families in which they live (WHO, 1993).
There are also several literatures that presents a disturbed family life due to drug problem. One example is from Ireland, which found that disturbed family life appears to be a major risk factor for drug use (Corrigan, 1986). There is a significant family factors that lead to intensify drug use are thought to include prolonged or traumatic parental absence, harsh discipline, and failure to communicate on an emotional level, chaotic or disturbed members and parental use of drugs, which provides a negative role model for children.
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That lack of household stability, income or employment for a parent may increase stress on the family and its vulnerability, pushing family members to find “solutions” or solace in alcohol or drugs (Jurich, 1985). Subsequently, a person who is neglecting responsibilities or failing to provide care for children properly or beating out at loved ones are clear indications that drugs is affecting an individual’s relationship with his or her family (The Mental Effects of Substance Abuse and Self-Harm). Although it has been presented in the preceding literatures about the impact of family to a drug user, being a potential origin of drug problem among family members, on the other hand, it can also be an effective force for treatment for family members with drug problem (United Nations, 1994). On the other hand, in the context of adolescent drug use, social control theorists maintain that when adolescents are close to their parents, they feel obligated to act in non-deviant ways that pleases their parents. Therefore, there is high probability that they would likely refrain from drug use since their parents are opposed to their drug use (Rankin ; Kern, 1994; Wright ; Cullen, 2001). Moreover, social learning theory asserts that adolescents whose family members and friends use drugs are likely to model those behaviors and use drugs themselves. From social control theory, it is expected that drug use is less frequent among adolescents who are close to their parents and perceive that their parents monitor their behavior closely (Bahr, Hoffman, and Yang, 2005).Drug Use and Peers.
There are numerous researchers have documented the dominant influence of peers on drug use among young people (Brook, Brook, ; Richter, 2001; Hawkins, Catalano, ; Miller, 1992; Reed ; Rountree, 1997; Thornberry ; Krohn, 1997; Trost, Langan ; Kellar-Guenther, 1999). Whenever adolescents interact with peers who use drugs, they are much more likely to initiate drug use (Elliott, Huizinga, ; Ageton, 1985; Huizinga, Loeber, ; Thornberry, 1995; Kaplan, Martin, ; Robbins, 1984).In addition, it is stated that family and peer relationships are important for adolescent drug use because both are primary groups where attitudes and behaviors are learned. That an individual learns to take drugs in small, informal groups (Akers ; Sellers, 2004; Bahr, Maughan, Marcos, ; Li, 1998; Petraitis, Flay, ; Miller, 1995). However, adolescents rarely use drugs if none of their friends use drugs, yet there are others who tend to choose friends who use drugs as a form of socialization (Khavari, 1993; Moon, Hecht, Jackson, ; Spellers, 1999).That establishing relationship with friends are significant as individuals develop their maturity and gain independence. However, affiliating with antisocial and drug-using peers is one of the strongest predictors of adolescent alcohol and other drug use (Bahr, 2005). Based on Sutherland’s differential association theory, that learning takes place according to the frequency, duration, intensity, and priority of social interactions.
Therefore, adolescents have higher tendencies to acquire attitudes favorable to drug use if they associate frequently with others who use drugs and have favorable attitudes toward drug use. Most especially if these interactions transpire over long period of time (Sutherland, Cressey, & Luckenbill, 1992). Through positive reinforcements contributed by friends, adolescents are likely to indulge in alcohol drinking or drug use (Petraitis, Flay, & Miller, 1995).
That influence of peer groups is usually strong during formative years of youth and it could be stronger than that of parents in some cases, most especially if they have similarity in the type of drug use (Kandel, 1973).However, there are several studies have found that peers have a high degree of influence only when the parents have abandoned their traditional supervisory roles among their children. Therefore, parents exercising traditional family roles may be able to limit the influence of peer groups on children’s attitudes towards drug use which plays a significant role in influencing their children’s behavior (Blum, 1972).