Drugs and alcohol are associated with high-risk behaviour especially among adolescents. Let us take a look at the manifestations of these high-risk behaviours.
Every now and then, young people are engaged in physical fights. It is sad, however, when these fights can lead to more serious consequences such as death, disability, arrest, and criminality. Involvement in physical fights is a sign of risky behaviour. Most of these fights are associated with drug abuse or excessive alcohol consumption.
Here are some statistics from 2001 on fighting among high school students:
- 33% of the students had been in a physical fight;
- 12.5% of the students had been in a physical fight on school property; and
- 4% of the students had been hurt badly enough in a fight to need medical treatment.
Girls fight, too
Can you imagine girls in a fight club? It is not only boys who can hit or kick. Girls get into fights, too. Serious physical fights that intent to hurt and do physical damage. Data from SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health show that although 43% of those who engaged in fighting were male, a large number of teen girls age (24%) 12 to 17 years get into fights, and these fights, too, are associated with binge drinking or drug use.
Other risky behaviours
Unfortunately, physical fights are just half of the story. Other risky behaviours also come with fighting, including:
- 45% had unsafe sex in the last 3 months,
- 41% had two or more sex partners in the last 3 months,
- 39% had driven a car while drunk or high in the last month,
- 24% had attempted suicide during the past 12 months, and
- 3% had used cocaine in the last month
Fights with weapons
Fights can turn deadly especially when weapons are involved. Those are intoxicated or stoned are most likely to use weapons when fighting, thus causing serious injuries and even death. Statistics showed that when drugs or alcohol is involved, 51% of those engaged in fights use weapon and 61% sustain serious or even fatal injuries. Without substance involvement, serious injuries have been reported in only 18% of fights.
Once the causes of high-risk behaviour have been identified, steps can be taken to help the young. Rehabilitation starts with addressing possible addiction plus other psychosocial factors involved. There are also programs on conflict resolution and anger management and even peer-mediation programs.