GATEWAYS
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“Social bond theories speculate that delinquency often occurs


when youths’ moral, emotional, and psychological ties to society weaken or rupture.”


Hirschi


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When does a child become an adult? At 18? 21? 25? In a time when children as young as 8 carry cell phones, and adults as old as 30 still live at home with mom and dad, it\'s often tough to tell. One of the most common initiation into adulthood is the emergence into the after hours world of nightclubs. According to Kandel, “This alluring world of dancing, alcohol, drugs, and sex, is tremendously tempting to young rebellious teens, and many others, wishing to find their own identity.” According to research there are many options, both positive and negative, available to youth through the ‘club scene’: popularity and acceptance from larger social groups, freedom of expression through dance, introduction to perceived forms of adult behavior, and is a gateway into the taboos of sex, drugs, and alcohol society. The purpose of this paper is to use Kandel’s model to analyze how socializing in the club scene influences behavior and choices youth make.


The American idea of deviance has associated nightclubs as deviant establishments with gateways into other deviant behaviors. The easily accessibility of drugs and alcohol, combined with myths and reckless behavior provide adolescents with a breeding ground for antisocial and criminal behavior. It is estimated that 7% of teens attend their first club as early as 11 years of age, with the overall age of first attendance at a nightclub, ranging from 13 to 15 years of age (Giddens, 1991).


According to the National Drug Intelligence Center the ‘club scene’ or what is described as the ‘club scene’ takes place in what is defined as raves. Raves are high-energy, all-night dances, which feature hard-pounding techno-music and flashing laser lights. Raves have increased in popularity among teens and young adults occurring in most metropolitan areas of the country. They can be either permanent dance clubs or commercially sponsored temporary weekend event. Temporary sites may be set up at various locations including abandoned warehouses, open fields, empty buildings, and civic centers. Raves are often promoted through flyers and advertisements distributed at clubs, record shops, clothing stores, on college campuses, and over the Internet.


Primarily, teens perceive entering the club scene as a way to launch their adult life. However, few tend to realize the consequences of their behavior (Kandel, 1998). Most current research has concluded negative outcomes from participation in the ‘club scene’. Using the theory of introduction to drugs and alcohol is the gateway for addictive personalities to thrive, combined with basic addiction theory; Dr. David Kandel purposed a sub-cultural model of causality describing the transgression through the ‘club scene’ (Chart 1).


According to Kandel model there are 2 choices a person can make once they have entered the club scene. If a person chooses stage A, then a pattern of self-destructive behavior resulting in a) running away, or b) getting caught, is followed. If a person chooses stage B, then the pattern involves becoming an occasional party user. Kandel’s statistics suggest 2.93 of 4 ‘ravers’ (approximately 75%) choose choice B. However Kandel did suggest ties a limited number of ties from choice B to A.


The first stage of Kandel’s model describes attendance at raves in order to indulge in drugs and alcohol. It is estimated, by the DEA, that 13 million Americans are current drug users. Cross-sectional and longitudinal studies have indicated that there is a general trend to increase drug involvement through adolescence. The rates of initiation into cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana increase through age 18, and then decrease sharply. The frequency of use for different substances also shows increasing rates through adolescence (Kandel, 1998). Studies have also found that use of various drugs shows a sequential pattern in adolescence whereby users’ progress from the use of one substance to another (Elliott, Huizinga, & Menard, 1989).


According to the State of Hawaii-Department of Health, a much greater proportion of students are using alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs on a monthly and daily basis than in previous years. It is estimated that 9.8% of Hawaii’s sixth to twelfth grade students need treatment for alcohol and/or drug abuse. Alcohol is still the most prevalent substance used by youth in Hawaii. By