There are many things that young people will try when they have nothing better to do, and there are a growing number of risky trends among teens. While drug and alcohol abuse are still main concerns for parents of teens, adults should be aware of other risky teen behaviors as well.
Drug and alcohol abuse. Substance abuse among teens is still a big problem, and it is one that can lead to other problems in the future. According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA), 90 percent of adult addicts began abusing substances as a teen.
Eating disorders. Many teens today struggle with self image problems because their bodies are changing quickly and they are inundated with the pressure to be thin. Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia are often serious enough to need hospitalization and intense treatment, and without treatment these disorders can last well into the adult years.
Self Harm disorders. Cutting or hurting one’s own body often goes along with an eating disorder. It occurs most often in young people who are struggling with emotional trauma or mental instability. Some teens feel that cutting is a way to release their emotions and manage their mental pain.
Huffing. Huffing is the act of inhaling household chemicals like aerosol sprays or paint thinner. This trend is common among middle school children, but it does also occur in older teens. Huffing can lead to drug abuse and sudden death.
Choking game. Teens trying this trend tie something around their necks to purposefully cut off their air supply for a few moments. When the airway is cleared and the person’s breath rushes back in, they experience a high. Many adolescents have become addicted to this “game”, also known as the fainting game, which has claimed the lives of a number of children.
It is important for parents to be aware of the risky trends their teen or pre-teen may be getting involved with, and talk to their child about the dangers of these activities. The first defense kids have against these trends is a parent who warns them of the dangers of such activities.