Report on our school survey ON: dependences in adolescence TO: whom it may concern BY: Deligiannidis Sp., Rizos P., Gourtzalis Nik. DATE: 02-05-2012
INTRODUCTION: This report is based on the findings of a recent survey on the pre-knowledge and attitudes to dependencies in our school community carried out in March 2012 by a team of A’ class project students at the “Miltos Kountouras” Senior High School. The total number of the respondents was 100. (N=100). The evidence clearly suggests a tendency among our school pupils to be aware of the multitude of addictive substances and activities rather than ignore them. The following aspects are going to be dealt with. TERMINOLOGY: As far as the degree to which our schoolmates are familiar with the difference between the terms “addiction” and “dependence” is concerned, we were surprised to find out that only one fifth of the respondents (19%) answered that dependence is worse than addiction. Nearly half of them (45%) believed that
addiction and dependence are equally serious while a quarter (26%) falsely stated that the two terms mean the same. FACTORS: As regards the factors leading to dependence, it seems that most of our respondents chose factors that are agerelated, such as peer pressure, curiosity, stress, age itself and self-esteem. This finding has struck us positively because it conforms to our hypothesis that dependencies are more likely to develop in adolescence. Other factors that featured high in our survey are personality and family, which are the ones emphasized in the bibliography we studied. Therefore, it seems that our schoolmates are well aware of the factors that actually correlate with being prone to dependencies. SUBSTANCES/ACTIVITIES As for the addictive substances and activities that our respondents ticked as the most dangerous, it must be stated that they were the ones we had expected to score high based on our reading on statistics. These were alcohol, drugs (including cannabis) and nicotine as substances as well as (online) video gaming, internet surfing and gambling as addictive activities. The responses to this question seem to confirm our finding that our schoolmates are well-informed on the multitude of addictive substances and activities.
VULNERABILITY: As far as the question “how far do you feel vulnerable to addiction or dependence?” is concerned, it was found out that almost half of our survey population (44%) stated that they did not feel vulnerable at all with a 22% who admitted feeling a little vulnerable, only 14% feeling seriously vulnerable and a mere 7% being dangerously affected by one of the above addictive substances or activities. This finding cannot be taken for granted since it is hard to admit addiction – let alone dependence – and taking into account that a great percentage of our school population spends a great deal of their free time at the computer, let alone those who regularly smoke at school. CONSEQUENCES: As regards the consequences of dependence in the life of a teenager, it was made clear that a great percentage of our respondents are aware of the fact that most dependencies can be fatal (68%) or lead to diseases, social exclusion and family problems. Only a small percentage (9%) said that there are no consequences and it is possible for a person to go on being addicted to a substance or an activity without any problems. It is also interesting that 11% of the respondents said that dependence can actually make a teenager wiser and
stronger but they probably mean that this might occur after successful rehabilitation. WAYS OF DEALING WITH ADDICTION: As regards the question â€œwhat would you do, if you were addicted?â€? almost half of our respondents stated that they would solve the problem by themselves whereas an equally great percentage (52%) answered that they would discuss it with experts. These two approaches are quite contradictory. Surprising, a good percentage (34%) would discuss it with parents. Only 4% would not worry at all and another 4% would worry but continue with their addiction. SYMPTOMS: As regards the signs of serious addiction or dependence, it was established that our respondents are wellinformed. This is so because most of the common symptoms mentioned in the bibliography were ticked in our questionnaire as well. Specifically, a dependent person was said to stand out by being particularly moody or depressed as well as by losing interest in their old hobbies, friends, and ambitions, in the opposite sex, their looks and hygiene, among other distinguishing types of behaviour such as recklessness, instability of eating and sleeping patterns etc.
CONCLUSION: On the whole, this survey has highlighted the tendency of our classmates to recognize the kinds, the factors and the effects of dependencies in general but to avoid considering being threatened by anyone of them themselves.