Youth Substance Abuse

A Reference Handbook

by David E. Newton


The use of psychoactive substances has waxed and waned over recent decades but always remains a significant issue in youth culture.

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Cover image for Youth Substance Abuse

July 2016


Pages 350
Volumes 1
Size 6x9
Topics Current Events and Issues/Health and Medicine
  Health & Wellness/Addiction and Substance Abuse

This text provides readers with an in-depth understanding of the essential aspects of youth substance abuse—an important contemporary personal, social, and public health issue.

Humans have been using natural and synthetic chemicals for at least two millennia—primarily for the purpose of treating medical problems, but also for recreational purposes. The 2014 Monitoring the Future survey of eighth, tenth, and twelfth grade students indicates a general decline in the use of illicit drugs over the last two decades. On the other hand, perceptions among youth that certain types of drug use—like marijuana and e-cigarettes—are harmless are growing. Youth Substance Abuse: A Reference Handbook provides an overview of the history and development of youth substance abuse along with a discussion of the medical, social, psychological, legal, and economic issues associated with youth substance abuse both in the United States and other parts of the world.

The book begins with a comprehensive introduction to the subject of youth substance abuse that explains how modern societies have reached the point where abuse of both legal and illegal substances is a major health issue in many nations. Readers will learn about the effects of substances such as cocaine, marijuana, and heroin as well as substances that are typically legal but have deleterious health, social, or psychological effects, such as tobacco, alcohol, prescription drugs, and electronic cigarettes. Subsequent chapters address how and why youth substance abuse has become a problem in the United States and other countries, the demographics of this widespread problem, the direct and indirect effects of youth substance abuse and addiction, and the range of services and methods that are available for treating substance abuse.


  • Presents individual perspectives on youth substance abuse issues that provide readers with a very personal outlook on specific aspects of the topic
  • Provides readers with broad coverage of current issues and topics in substance abuse by adolescents as well as a historical perspective of how this problem has developed in the United States over the past century
  • Includes a chapter of primary documents sourced from a number of laws and court cases dealing with various aspects of youth substance abuse
Series Description

Contemporary World Issues

This award-winning series offers comprehensive, one-volume reference handbooks on important topics related to health, education, the environment, and social and ethical issues.

24-hour cable news. Millions of Internet sites. Information overload. How can we sort through the information? Assess the analyses? Trust the sources?

A world of questions demands a library of answers. Contemporary World Issues covers the controversial topics that students, readers, and citizens want to read about, write about, and know more about.


  • Subject coverage spans six main categories:
  • Criminal Justice
  • Environment
  • Gender and Ethnicity
  • Politics, Law, and Government
  • Science, Technology, and Medicine
  • Society
  • Each volume offers a rich array of resources:
  • A background and history essay that provides essential context and grounding for further study
  • A balanced summary of ongoing controversies and proposed solutions that show numerous paths for further research on pressing, contemporary questions
  • A forum of authoritative perspective essays by experts, offering a broad spectrum of arguments on the issues
  • Carefully selected annotated documents, tables, and graphs that supports statistical literacy and investigation of primary sources
  • A chronology of events, legislation, and movements that place events in sequence and draw connections between them
  • Annotated lists of print, Web, and multimedia resources that power the next steps for in-depth research
  • Profiles of key players and organizations
  • A glossary of key terms
Author Info

David E. Newton, EdD, has been a freelance writer of nonfiction books and ancillary materials for young adults for nearly 55 years. He has published more than 400 textbooks, research manuals, trade books, encyclopedias, and encyclopedia articles as well as lab manuals, problems books, and other publications. His published work includes ABC-CLIO's The Global Water Crisis: A Reference Handbook; Wind Energy: A Reference Handbook; World Energy Crisis: A Reference Handbook; The Ozone Dilemma: A Reference Handbook; Fracking: A Reference Handbook; Environmental Justice: A Reference Handbook; Science and Political Controversy: A Reference Handbook; The Animal Experimentation Debate: A Reference Handbook; and Vaccination Controversies: A Reference Handbook. He has also been an updating and consulting editor on a number of books and reference works. Newton was formerly a teacher of high school science and mathematics in Grand Rapids, MI; professor of chemistry and physics at Salem State College; and adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco. His special interest is in the social, political, economic, and other aspects of science and technology. He holds a doctorate in science education from Harvard University as well as a bachelor's degree in chemistry (with high distinction) and a master's degree in education from the University of Michigan.



"With the inclusion of data, legal documents, quality sources referenced throughout the book, and an annotated bibliography at the end, this source is a great starting point for research."Booklist

"This text is a valuable resource for both general readers and undergraduate students as an introduction to and an overview of issues involving adolescent users. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates; general readers."Choice

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