In the book Go Ask Alice (1971) By an Anonymous author, a teenager struggling with drugs tragically succumbs to her problems. There has been a lot of Controversy revolving around whether the author is real or if this book was just written to draw attention to drugs. Regardless of whether the supposed author actually existed, the fact that remains is that identity issues and drug addiction are very real problems for millions of teenagers.
In the beginning of the book a teenage girl talks about herself and how she wants to change her image. She describes very adamantly that she is unhappy with her body and her own personality. “I want to be someone important, maybe the new me will be different” (page 4). Many Teenagers have an identity crisis, some more drastically than others. The task of being confident isn’t an easy one; teens seem to always want to be someone better. But by focusing only on the thought of becoming advanced instead improving what is already good, it causes a stalemate.
The mind wants to improve but all it does is think about ameliorating, the actual action that must be taken never happens. This is what the girl in the book goes through, she is always thinking about becoming better, but as she finally starts to improve and stop just thinking about it, she accumulates a mindset of becoming better. Now this girl has a constants need to be progressive, giving her no true identity except the thought of wanting a better one.
Later in the book the young girl runs away from her home and makes a new life for herself in California. She acquires a job at a department store and after a few days of working the owner of the store invites her to a party at her loft. While at the party the girl is exposed to drugs, she had been trying to stay away from the demon pills, but it didn’t work. “One of the men passed me a joint and that was it. I wanted to be ripped, smashed, torn up as I had never wanted anything before. This was the scene, and I wanted to be part of it” (page 76).
This girl was exposed to drugs without her knowledge but after being exposed she needed the high. She sought out the pills. After finally getting clean she is exposed again, while she could have rejected the ‘joint’ she isn’t confident enough in herself to do so in front of others. Her uncertainty allows her judgment to be influenced, which makes her addiction grow vigorously.
Teenagers of this age see drugs as a way to escape from their problems. Which is half the predicament with this generation, we are all about avoiding issues rather then facing them head on.