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International Issues
W O M E N  : D R U G   U S A G E  &  T E E N A G E   P R E G N A N C Y
Drugs, sex and women; the saga...
Drug usage and teenage pregnancy form critical issues globally

   TIt’s my life.. It’s now or never.. he penchant for ultra-glamorous and super luxurious life for the Gen-Z is taking a new twist. The escalating incidents of teenage pregnancy, drug abuse and addictions are some of the live examples. A three-year Columbia University study on American women and young girls (between 8-22 years) showed that “girls and young women are more vulnerable to abuse and addiction: they get hooked faster and suffer the consequences sooner than boys and young men.” US government statistics also show how above 40% of women have ‘done drugs’ at some point. As the global UNIFEM report accepts, “The stresses and strains of rapid change have contributed to an increase in the levels of drug abuse among women.”

On another front, teenage pregnancy is causing a social crises of a different kind; and more so in developed nations. For example in Botswana, while in 1996, the UN’s Population Fund (UNFPA) showed how an unbelievable 6 out of 10 teenage girls became pregnant, the figure in 2003 dropped to 3 out of 10. Now, according to estimates, only 143 out of 1,000 girls between 15-19 years in Sub Saharan Africa get pregnant. At the same time, a developed nation like UK has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Western Europe; rates that are, according to BBC research, “Twice as high as in Germany, three times as high as in France and six times as high as in the Netherlands.”

The five common reasons for these ills, according to UNFPA, are quite straightforward – poverty, sexual abuse, school failure, lack of good parenting, lack of reproductive health services. One wonders when would the world wake up to reason, and when would the solutions themselves also become as “straightforward!” One hopes soon... very soon...

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