Teens and Risk Taking: Dr. Drew

Here is my clip from Dr. Drew talking about risk. Sorry the quality is not great, but you get the idea!


The recent case of Daniel Fernandez’s tragic death when he stuck his head outside the top of a party bus and was struck by an overpass should be a wake-up call for parents and teens alike. Fernandez was on a party bus headed for a sweet 16 party in New Jersey when he opened the roof hatch, stuck his head out and was hit by an overpass. He died a few hours later. This is a horrible example of the adrenaline junky behavior we are seeing in many teens today. Tonight I will be going on Dr. Drew to talk about this phenomenon. See some comments here below:

Why is the adrenaline junkie phenomenon happening?

1. YouTube And Danger

YouTube is glorifying risky behavior, dangerous antics and extreme hobbies. YouTube often features teens challenging each other to snort household substances for fun, jumping off of buildings and doing extremely dangerous activities like car surfing. It seems that the more extreme the video, the more views they get. In fact we are now seeing teenagers spend their weekends trying to come up with risky things to do to be featured on YouTube!

2. The Teen’s Brain

This is aspect of risky-behavior is not new, but it is very relevant. Researchers at the University of Texas have even found scientific backing to show that the teen brain responds more strongly to reward prompted by risk. Teens brains are actually itching for the adrenaline reward and therefore are willing to try much more extreme activities.

3. Twitter and Facebook Forever

Many teens want to capture their dangerous moments for their Twitter and Facebook feeds. In fact the craving to having interesting and envy-worthy posts is an addiction onto itself. This makes the reward for taking risk even higher if a teen can post their antics on Facebook and get 50 likes and 20 comments.

We have to help teens understand that risk is not cool. That it could happen to them. That we are not immune to the consequences of our risk taking behaviors.

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