Self-Destructive and Risk-Behaviour related deaths among South African teenagers (Slide 1) What is a risk behaviour? (Slide 2) A risk behaviour is the exposure to harm. Risky behaviour will result in a person causing harm to themselves and therefore they will not reach their full potential. Alcohol abuse, suicide and drug abuse are all examples of risk behaviour. What is alcohol abuse? (Slide 3) This is defined alcohol being used in a situation where it should not be used. Alcohol abuse is also the use of alcohol by teenagers as they are not allowed to purchase or drink alcohol legally until the age of 18.
Alcohol abuse in teenagers is considered as risk behaviour as the use of alcohol is increasing and many teenagers younger than 18 years of age are drinking alcohol. These teenagers are not just consuming one alcoholic drink but are binge drinking alcoholic drinks. This means they are consuming more than five alcoholic drinks within a few hours. Alcohol abuse is also a risk behaviour as it can lead to Alcoholism which is the dependence on alcohol and this contributes to teenagers as they depend on alcohol to feel more confident and sociable.
It also leads to crime and violence as eenagers become victims towards acts of violence, crime and sexual assault as they cannot control themselves under the influence of alcohol. Teenagers tend to drink as they believe it is fun and they are often also peer-pressured into consuming alcohol as it is what their friends are doing and because the media puts out a powerful message that alcohol is desirable. Alcohol also makes teenagers feel better about themselves as they appear to be more confident after consuming alcoholic drinks.
Teenagers also consume alcohol because they watch their parents drink and how their act towards alcohol and teenagers then do the same ecause that is what they have been taught because that is what their parents have always done. Some teenagers also consume alcohol because they want to rebel against their parents. (Slide 4) Alcohol can impact the individual negatively especially teenagers as their brain is still vulnerable and developing. The brain of a teenager is therefore vulnerable to the loss of concentration as well as the inability to focus. Teenagers will have problems when learning new information and remembering old information.
Their academic achievement will also be slightly lost due to the consumption of alcohol. It also as an impact on society as more and more teenagers are starting to drink alcoholic drinks because it is what their friends are doing and this often leads to alcohol poison which results in the death of teenagers. Teenagers who abuse alcohol can be guided by their parents to know when it is time to stop drinking. Their parents can also help them manage the risks relating to alcohol by helping them to assess the risks and dangers of how much alcohol they are consuming.
Parents can also teach their teenagers who are not yet 18 that it is better to consume alcohol in safe environments, like at a party where your parents re there to supervise you. What is suicide? (Slide 5) This is an act which is focused on causing an individual’s death voluntarily. It is when an individual thinks of taking their own life. Suicide is the third highest cause of unnatural deaths amongst teenagers in South Africa. Suicide can be committed by overdosing on over the counter medication, by teenagers cutting themselves, hanging themselves, using firearms or by jumping from heights.
Teenagers commit suicide for various reasons. These include having previously tried suicide before, a history of depression in heir family, the use of drugs and alcohol, having been sexually and physically abused, having a chronic illness, having a learning, mental or physical disability, a poor parent-child relationship, a recent loss of a family member or a friend, a disruption in their lives and having been exposed to violence. (Slide 6) This impacts the individual as they try to solve their problems committing suicide.
They get away from their problem as they are no longer here to face it every day however, the problem has not been solved. This is impacts the individual as the feel feelings of self-hate, hopelessness and isolation. This impacts society as we are losing more and more teenagers due to suicide and it affects the people close to them as they have lost a love one which means they feel feelings of isolation and self-hate as they could not help their loved one or they didn’t see it happening. Teenagers who want to commit suicide can be helped.
Those who care about those teenagers educated to pick up on the warning signs given by these teenagers who are depressed and suicidal. They also need to be educated to know how to help them and to know what to say or do to help them. They also need to know where to get help for them. Everyone needs to be educated so that they know how to support, assist, help and provide information to those who are affected. We also need to take the warning signs given seriously, be willing to listen and in a crisis know what to do and we also need to follow- up on the treatment they are receiving.
What is drug abuse? (Slide 7) This is the use of illegal drugs, the misuse of prescribed or over- the-counter drugs which have negative effects on the individual taking them. Some drugs which are abused by teenagers are tobacco (cigarettes), Dagga, Ecstacy, Tik and Heroin. These drugs re highly addictive and can result in death if too much is taken. Teenagers abuse drugs as the want to fit in with the rest of their friends, they feel like nothing will happen to them and so they use the drugs without considering the consequences of it.
Teens may also abuse drugs as a family member may have a history with drug abuse, they may have a mental or physical health condition, they may have impulsive behaviour, have a history with traumatic events or have a low self-esteem. (Slide 8) Drug abuse impacts teenagers as it decreases their level of concentration, it makes it harder for them to stop using the rugs, it causes them to have unprotected sex which heightens the risk for a pregnancy, rape or a sexually transmitted disease, it causes them to hide their emotions and it also leads to brain damage.
This impacts society as once these teenagers become addicted to the drug they want more and more of it and they often don’t have the money to pay for it. This results in the teenagers committing acts of crime to find the money to keep their addiction going. We can stop more and more teenagers from abusing drugs by educating them and the effects of drugs. Parents can also ask their teenagers how they feel about drugs and listen to their pinions, they can also discuss why drugs should not be used without frightening them.
The message from the media about how drugs effect and ruin lives can be shown to teenagers to show them what drugs are about and teens can also be asked about what the media does put out there about drugs. Teenagers need to be taught how to resist peer pressure and they need to be able to trust their parents and be ready to discuss their own drug use. These three examples are all risk behaviours which result in death. we need to educate teens so that they stop taking so many risks so that they can reach their full potential.