Impact of drug abuse on youth


New Member
Hi everybody, I'm currently researching on the topic above, and I stumbled upon an issue which I have doubts.

I understand that most countries impose fines on youth who abuse drugs. However, is it necessary to do that? Youth who abuse drugs already suffer both mentally and physically. By imposing fines on them, we are actually adding the burden of financial issue on them. We should be helping them in getting out of their problems, not by rubbing salt onto their wound.

I appreciate for any feedback given to me which can help me clear my doubts on this issue. Thanks!


Former desparate mom
What does your research show?
The fine is a consequence of making the wrong choice. The loss of trust,loss of education or job, the loss of opportunities are all consequences for drug use. The fine seems the least of the consequences.

Help is there for those who choose to go and stick with the program. Addiction is an ugly thing to battle but it has been done by many.


I agree with Fran.

By imposing fines on them, we are actually adding the burden of financial issue on them.

[/ QUOTE ]

In this country, the more likely scenario is that it adds to the parents financial burden. Therefore, assessments of fines do not have the impact that it should have in the majority of cases. A more effective "fine" might be for the child to work off the fine via community service in my opinion.


Active Member
Since I have a son who has gone through drug abuse, I know all too well about the fines imposed. Do they help? No, but they definitely reinforce the fact that they broke the law.

My beef is that some counties/states are tougher on certain things than others. It's hard to teach our children about right from wrong when they see someone just getting a slap on the wrist for the same thing they were sentenced to jail time, community service hours and/or heavy fines. It seems that some things should be across the board. That way, there is no doubt what the consequences of their actions are.

It's like telling a small child - if you touch that hot stove, you will be burned. They know up front the consequences, and then either walk away or touch the stove anyway.



New Member
I would consider fining a drug addict by making them pay monetary fines as a vicious cycle consequence. Most addicts don't have any money or even a job. When they don't pay their fines they end up with a contempt of court charge and then the cycle repeats it's self. More jail, more fines, can't pay, and the cycle repeats. If an addict decides to clean up their act, owing the courts a lot of money is another huge stumbling block put in front of them and could cause them to give up and not even try. I've seen it happen.

The impact to the tax payer can also be overwhelming. Drug addicts either can't or won't pay fines. That means tax payers have to house them via jail, prison, etc. Nobody wins. Our jails are so full here they are early releasing dangerous criminals and always want money to build more jails. It's always on the ballot along with more money for more law enforcement. Neither ballot measure rarely passes because the taxpayers are just plain taxed out.

I would be happier spending my tax dollar on more programs for addicts. That's part of the reason we have such an over whelming problem. There are so few services in this area and because most of the towns are so rural you have to travel quite a distance (most addicts don't own cars) to even try to get help. The few places they can go for treatment are so over filled, addicts are either turned away or scheduled for many months down the road to even get an interview.

I believe an addict should face very serious consequences for their bad choices. But in my opinion making them pay money to a court system that isn't working any way is very counter productive. Making them pay for services to try to get well would make more since to me. Their are other punishments that can be imposed on an addict besides fines. But like I said this is just my opinion.



Well-Known Member
"Impact of drug abuse on youth"

It takes, it destroys, it limits and it kills. No consequence is a guarantee for "hitting bottom" either.

Parents, schools, judges, PO's, pastors, etc...can consequence (or try and control) through shame, guilt, anger, expulsions, alternative school, rehab, jail, placing them on probation, PO requirements: community service, get a GED, get a job, Bootcamps, Private boarding schools, home school associations, psychiatric hospitals etc. People can lose their babies, lose their marriages, lose their homes, lose their last dime...lose their lives.

There are many addicts who will go back to prison because they would rather use once, than maintain daily sobriety. It is certainly a possibility for my oldest difficult child and Yes, he will have monetary damages to repay, po appointments to make, fines imposed, UA's, a job, housing, etc to secure. He may get to see just how capable and able bodied he really is. He may get to see his gifts and talents take over. He may get to find out that "life is good". He may begin to uncover and discover beauty all around him in each and every day...Or, he may die.

That's the cold hard truth, "It takes what it takes". Not everyone goes through all of the consequences to finally wake up, get conscious, and get "willing". But at some point we all hope that a consequence WILL get their attention, allow them to hit their "personal bottom".
It's just the way it is. It's reality, "life on life's terms".

The way I sorta see it now, No consequence would be like removing all of their senses, ability to know pain and when to back away from it,like Deb said (which the drugs are already working on). Like being eaten away at by a parasite with no temporary reprieve, Nothing to stop and perhaps finally get their attention to the damage being done and the life saving messeges being offered.

But they have to want their lives/sanity/sobriety for themselves more than they want their drug of choice. It's a personal decision between life and death.

I wish there was just one universal, across the board, consequence that would be the end all/cure all, lol, I would have found it, invented it and be making millions of mom's happy round the world! But, thank G-d it's not up to me anymore.
In the end (and every parent of a drug addicted child knows this) The consequences are theirs alone to own, unless we want to place our lives in their hands and go where there drug addiction takes us...NOT!


ps...Giving birth is such a gamble!!!


Well-Known Member
I have never read a scientifically founded paper or article
on the impact of fines. It would be hugely interesting to
many probably would also take years of research
to adequately cover even one geographic area.

In our location, a misdemeanor charge for possession of seeds costs $47 per month at the time of a probation visit.
There are a number of required courses that can be required.
The one on substance abuse cost approximately $150 for ten
nightly classes. The cost of the Court is in the ballpark
of $500. So the required out of pocket in less than one year is almost $1300 IF you do not get arrested.

When you get arrested (twice held in county jail for six weeks each and both charges totally dismissed within one week of lockup) you have a jail account where you are charged approximately $25 per day for room and board. (I'm
not sure of that figure.) You are charged for any time you
are seen by a nurse, nurses aid or medical doctor. You are
charged 5 times or more the cost of your medication based
on local pharmacy charges because the medications can only be ordered, purchased and distributed by jail employees. THEN
you can only get extra socks, sweatshirts, tee shirts by paying all the above balances first and then have funds to
order. So when you read about people sitting back in jail
slugging soft drinks, eating candy bars and watching tv's..
you have to totally assume they are independently wealthy
or have very supportive families.

Although it is not the case in our family, thank heavens,
if you are in jail or on probation you can be held in contempt of court for not paying child support also. Many
young men have to choose regularly whether to pay for their
kids or pay the system to stay out of jail or..or..or..

And then, of course, it is hard to hold a job and attend the
meetings and make sure you are off work for meetings with your probation officer. Oh yeah, the P.O. also comes to your job site. :blush:

It's ugly. DDD :frown:


Active Member
the fine is not the least consequence. it can be the harshest. think of this, ant is done serving his prison time. he will be paying his fines for years to come. that will determine his quality of living as his fines are in the neighborhood of 300 a month.

however, the fine is necessary to cover court costs, cost of programs and DUI school, CAT fund losses, etc etc etc.

if you cant pay the fine, dont do the crime.

ask ant. :hammer:


New Member
Thanks guys for the wonderful replies! I have learnt alot from them. It's true that imposing fines on teens who abuse drugs is reasonable as it serve as a warning to them.
However, I still oppose to the idea of fine. As what I say, fines will increase the financial burden, and as what ant'smom had said from real experience, imposing fine results in the person having to earn only 300 a month? Doesn't that will make the person feeling even more depressed because he/she has to pay such big amount of fines, and had to live on such low income. Teens should live a carefree and happy life, not a life trapped under the law of fines.


I believe an addict should face very serious consequences for their bad choices. But in my opinion making them pay money to a court system that isn't working any way is very counter productive. Making them pay for services to try to get well would make more since to me. Their are other punishments that can be imposed on an addict besides fines. But like I said this is just my opinion.


[/ QUOTE ]

I totally agree with what you said envis. If fine is really necessary, I would, too, rather it is used for paying to community services that serve to help the drug addicts turn over a new leaf. Thia is a much preferable approach and will show our sincere offer in helping them change. Rather than imposing fines just to serve as punishment, we should transform this so called punishment as care and concern for them instead.