Sample Research Paper on Drug Use among Inner City Youth

Introduction to Juvenile Delinquency: Drug Use among Inner City Youth Using the Social Disorganization Theory

Drug use is a social problem that has been affecting global communities for decades. Inner cities across United States therefore continue to record high numbers of youths using and abusing drugs. This study will focus on drug use among youths residing in inner cities. It will apply the social disorganization theory to prove drug use is based on grave problems affecting and influencing the youths.  The discussion will also discuss prevalence of drug use based on various age groups among the youth while surveying how African American families are affected. According to Margret, James, and Joan, the drug use culture developed in early 1980s across various inner cities. The journal of medicine therefore seeks to affirm that, drug use is often linked with homelessness and urban decay of morals. Thus, minority youth record high prevalence rates of drugs than youths from higher and middle income levels. More so, some inner cities associated with crime are regarded as zones promoting crime and drug use as well as abuse leading to high rates of addiction. Due to little focus from governmental and non-governmental organizations striving to resolve drug use, the addiction rates have been increasing leading to deaths and high maiming rates among youths (Margret, James & Joan, 1997).

Applying sociological theories in order to discuss drug use and abuse is vital as it provides a platform to focus on cultural, economic, and social factors attributing to youths from inner cities engaging in such delinquent behaviors. This is because some youths engage in drug use without experiencing genetic, psychological, and biological factors promoting delinquent behaviors. As a result, applying the social disorganization theory will prove distant social worlds among youths in inner cities encourage delinquent behaviors including crime and drug use. They encourage youths to develop traits promoting drug use despite facing constrained economic and cultural factors discouraging delinquent behaviors (NIDA, 2003).

United States has been recording high rates of violence and crime due to drug use and abuse across diverse inner cities. More so, urban crack markets have been rising and expanding especially due to gang protection ensuring official organizations against such activities are blocked from gaining access to the markets. Various forms of crime have often declined mainly since 1990s. This however has not led to decline of drug use and abuse among the youths. Drug trafficking and use has not subsided which has led to development new forms of violent crimes. Inner cities adversely affected by drug use and abuse among the youths include New York, Miami, and Florida. This cities harbor neighborhood conditions shaping distribution of illegal drugs among locals facilitating other forms of violent crimes to occur. The government has been keen on addressing illegal drug dealing activities on national and city levels. As a result, drug activities occurring on neighborhood levels across the cities have either been ignored or poorly managed. This has encouraged neighborhoods across the inner cities to develop into heterogeneous social units. Individuals and families residing in such neighborhoods continue to experience and witness the adverse effects of drug use, abuse, and trafficking activities especially among the youths (Mario & Juan-Luis, 1993).

For example, youths during 1980s and 1990s across various inner cities especially neighborhoods in Miami suffered greatly due to drug use and abuse. The amount of drugs produced and supplied by drug traffickers in Columbia to Miami were increasing gradually as youths and even adults across the inner cities had resulted to addiction. Pablo Escobar was a drug dealer globally recognized for distributing drugs into various inner cities across United States. His unethical activities led him to amass wealth while destroying lives among people residing in United States. Crime rates on the other hand increased as youths resulted to delinquent social activities in order to finance their drug addiction behaviors. This example therefore affirms that social, cultural, and even economic factors fuel drug use among the youths (Mario & Juan-Luis, 1993).

Drug use and abuse influence social policies implemented to ensure sociological organizations maintain order. The sociological definition to drug use and abuse seeks to affirm the delinquent activities and behaviors among the youth include patterns and norms characterized with chemical imbalances, personality traits, and neurological processes as well as genetic predispositions. For example, a youth facing a drug addiction problem cannot undertake normal activities without indulging in drug abuse using illegal and illicit products including alcohol and marijuana. This is because the social use of drugs for a prolonged period of time adversely affects the victims’ social, economic, health, and cultural control agencies. As a result, they develop unsuccessful attempts to avoid consumption of the drugs. This can lead the victims to develop self awareness on the need to address the drug addiction issue. There are however some drug users who result to assumption and ignorance in order to avoid addressing the fact that they have a social problem with regards to consumption of alcohol and other types of legal and illicit drugs (Ramiro, Richard & Dennis, 2008).

The social disorganization theory is therefore applied to affirm that, drug use and abuse presents diverse social, economic, and cultural effects. It will seek to affirm that, any use of drugs among the youth should neither be considered nor described as socially acceptable. This is mainly due to the fact that youths lack the mental and social ability to understand drug use, abuse, dependence, addiction, and tolerance. Instead, they develop a habit of consuming alcohol among other forms of drugs resulting to abuse and consequently addiction. This further adversely affects their health conditions as some develop liver and kidney problems at an early age. Conversely, others develop an addiction, which prompts them to consume harder drugs. Thus, a youth who previously relied on alcohol develops a habit of using and abusing cocaine and heroin among other harder drugs. Thus, the social disorganization theory should be applied to assist youths especially residing in inner cities with social control agencies promoting drug use and abuse to overcome the habit. Consequently, violent crimes in the areas can reduce as youths focus on improving living standards by formulating and implementing positive and viable social, economic, and cultural policies promoting growth and development (Ramiro, Richard & Dennis, 2008).

Youths are globally recognized for moderate use of drugs as they experiment with marijuana and alcohol. This activity is often considered normal as it is widespread among youths who are keen on avoiding drug abuse and addiction. Youths however lack control and strong will to avoid drug use and abuse resulting and characterized with addiction. As a result, a small number of the youths experimenting and consuming moderate drugs can commence use of harder and multiple drugs. Sociologists assert that, these habits develop among youths with a tendency to act through ignorance and assumptions. Consequently, they develop a drug addiction problem during which they struggle to maintain as they lack resources to buy and indulge the habit. As a result, they engage in crime and deviant behaviors in order to access resources they can utilize illegally to acquire drugs. The social disorganization theory therefore seeks to assert that, drug addiction among youths especially residing in inner cities is a form of deviance. The drug abuse habit originates from various propositions allied to morals, values, and functions existing in a society (Tammy, 2010).

Inner cities especially New York and Miami comprise of stable and unstable families. Children and youths from unstable families experience and witness delinquent behaviors and activities undertaken by members of the community determined to survive in a neighborhood with weak social, economic, and environmental policies. This aspect promotes violent crimes including pick pocketing, robbery with violence, looting, homicides, and even murder. Youths develop based on the things they experience and witness. When youths from unstable families are exposed to such neighborhoods, they are bound to engage in drug use, abuse, and crime. Their parents who are often jobless and battling social issues including drug addiction fail in providing the children and youths with advice in order to avoid societal pressure encouraging them to engage in drug use and abuse. Ultimately, persons from inner cities end up engaging in drug use and crime at a tender age. Correcting these social disorganizations is therefore challenging as the causes are deeply rooted in the neighborhoods, which can be difficult and intimidating to access in order to assist and redeem youths either likely or actually suffering for living in conditions promoting delinquent values and morals. This further leads to conflicts across such inner cities who believe governmental and non-governmental organizations fighting against drug use should not access their neighborhoods. These dysfunctions result to alienation of the inner cities. The combination further fosters motivational factors promoting drug use, abuse, conflicts, deviance, chaos, and crime (Ramiro, Richard & Dennis, 2008).

Foremost, persons including children, youths, and adults residing across inner cities in United States should undergo awareness campaigns in order to understand the adverse effects of drug use. This should be undertaken as a social process explaining a wide range of issues affecting people in inner cities. Thus, lack of jobs, health insurance premiums, and increase in crime rates should also be addressed. Consequently, neighborhoods can feel encouraged to join movements, agencies, and organizations keen in eliminating social evils reducing the quality of lives they lead (Barbara, Carl & Pilar, 2003).

The social disorganization theory aims at promoting social control in order to reduce and eliminate crime rates and delinquent behaviors. People in a society conform; a process characterized with the desire, in order to uphold laws and policies promoting peace and stability in order enhance the processes achieving social, economic, and environmental upgrading.  Thus, they break the law, rely on deviance, and violate social norms and patterns to the desire of meeting personal needs at the expense of the community. Encouraging families to embrace love and support can encourage schools and the students to keep off from drugs in order to focus on education and the need to improve living conditions and standards. Thus, promoting close associations among youths, families, parents, siblings, and the community at large will ensure law abiding citizens develop in inner citizens. Consequently, the number of law breakers and deviant persons keen on engaging in drugs hindering their self control aspects to uphold personal and organizational associations can reduce (Tammy, 2010).

Proper socialization occurs through adequate attachments in various settings including families, schools, and communities. Through proper socialization, community members are encouraged to form a commitment to achieve social and economic growth by achieving educational and occupational success. People engaging in drugs as they form a tendency of being assumptive and ignorant towards policies and laws implemented to achieve proper socialization however cannot achieve success. Providing inner cities with resources and an opportunity to prove they can achieve proper socialization is also a major step towards discouraging youths from drug use and abuse. This can be achieved through activities such as sporting leagues and scouting operations. This is because they provide various opportunities that can be utilized to instill believes that delinquent behaviors associated with crime and drug use are not morally upright, valuable, or legitimate (Charis & Ronald, 2003).

In conclusion, the government ought to focus on drug use among the youths as a behavior developing due to lack of ethical, cultural, and economic agencies discouraging against delinquency. This can be achieved through the following steps. The first and most crucial step involves families across inner cities enhancing child rearing process. Parents and siblings should shield children and the youth from evil societal activities promoting delinquency and crime. Thus, families should observe effective bonding processes to enhance self awareness, esteem, and control among children who can grow into youths and adults capable of promoting proper organizations across various societies. Consequently, persons residing across inner cities can avoid promoting deviance behaviors and the need to resist upholding laws and policies implemented to support social, economic, environmental, and cultural growth.



Barbara, D. W., Carl, G. L., & Pilar, K. (2003). Informal Social Control of Crime in High Drug Use Neighborhood: Final Project Report. U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved on 27th Oct 2015 from:

Charis, E. K., & Ronald, W. (2003). New Directions in Social Disorganization Theory. Retrieved on 27th Oct 2015 from:

Margret, E., James, A., & Joan, M. (1997). The Inner City and Drug Use: Initial Findings from an Epidemiological Study. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 48(1), 175-184. Retrieved on 27th Oct 2015 from:

Mario, R., & Juan-Luis, R. (1993). Drug Abuse among Minority Youth: Methodological Issues and Recent Research Advances. National Institute on Drug Abuse Research Monograph Series. Retrieved on 27th Oct 2015 from:

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). (2003). Preventing Drug Use among Children and Adolescents. A Research-based Guide for Parents, Educators, and Community Leaders. Retrieved on 27th Oct 2015 from:

Ramiro, M., Richard, R., & Dennis, M. (2008). Social Disorganization, Drug Market Activity, and Neighborhood Violent Crime. Urban Aff Rev, 43(6), 846-874. Retrieved on 27th Oct 2015 from:

Tammy, A. (2010). Chapter 6: Sociological Theories of Drug Abuse. Retrieved on 27th Oct 2015 from: