How to Identify a Teen at Risk

Are you living with a teen at risk? The teenage years are the ones where people tend to want to test your boundaries the most. Most teens make mistakes during this phase of growth but you want to help them prevent making the type of mistake that can cause them years of emotional or physical damaged. This can happen if your kid gets involved in a car accident, school shooting or a robbery of any kind.

A teen at risk will be demonstrating behaviors such as underage drinking, drug use and abuse, smoking, unprotected sex, excessive dieting, eating disorders, driving while under the influence, rough-housing with friends and driving while talking on a cell phone.

You might be thinking that smoking cigarettes is not so dangerous for your kid but studies have shown that hat “nicotine is the number one entrance drug into other substance abuse problems.” Teens who smoke each day are more likely to use other drug substances.

Teenagers may experiment with drugs, both legal and including marijuana, cocaine, crack, and methamphetamines, which are particular lethal for teens at risk. Sometimes the temptation is in your own home. Some adolescents sneak into their parents’ medicine cabinets to use drugs prescribed for someone else. Others abuse cough medications and codeine medications for a “high.” Many of these medications also contain speed which ironically, can help improve studies but is not recommended as a way of doing so!

It is too easy to deny that your kid might be having sex. Whether or not your teen will choose to sleep with their boyfriend or girlfriend, it is our job to educate them about the transmission of disease and/or potential pregnancy. Loss of self-esteem and destructive behaviors can arise when teens start engaging in sex at too early an age because they cannot handle the feelings that come with so much attachment.

Dangerous dieting is also a killer. When weight loss reaches a certain level, or the child cannot stop obsessing about food and weight, a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa may be warranted. Boys and girls that suffer from this disease have a distorted body image and may think that they are “fat,” when they are becoming sicker and thinner.

A certain amount of risk-taking is normal in a child but when it comes to their health and basic rules of the road make sure that they are well educated and prevent them from experiencing the often life=-long consequences of making one big mistake while young.