Teens and risky behaviors

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) Drugs, sexual behavior and self-harm, they’re issues facing young people in our communities every single day. Students are influenced by those around them as well as social media and mainstream media. Maranda recently visited a West Michigan facility to talk with students and counselors about the risky behaviors teens are taking part in.

A recent study shows about 1 in 3 high school students have used an illicit drug and close to 50 percent have used illegal drugs including marijuana. As parents and teachers what can you do? What should you be looking out for and where can you turn for help?

Maranda sat down with students from several school districts who say the problem is everywhere in their schools, and growing. They told Maranda part of the reason for the increase is the mixed messages they’re hearing and seeing in the media. One example is the recent legalization of medical marijuana. Wedgwood Christian Services says one of the reasons is that the perception about  the dangers have changed, students think it’s okay to use it since it’s okay for others to use it for treatment of illnesses.

Wedgwood offers families a place to go for help when teenagers are involved in risky behaviors. Wedgwood offers residential and community programs. They say kids are using more drugs and using them sooner in life.

Another behavior putting teens at risk is self-harm, like cutting and burning. Wedgwood says one in twelve teens engage in self-harm. One counselor says the emotional pain drives teens to look for ways to mask it or cover it up, and physically harming themselves takes the emotional pain away.

Wedgwood Christian Services
3300 36th Street SE
Grand Rapids
(616) 942-2110

Crisis Call Center
1-800-273-8255

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