TeenFest Foundation does not provide medical advice or recommendations or endorse any specific violence reduction strategies. Any information on this site is for informational purposes only. This information does not replace professional or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions regarding a medical condition or professional opinions, always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional.
Teens who abuse drugs may have a greater risk of developing an addiction when they are adults.
It’s important to know the difference between drug abuse and addiction. Many teens experiment with drugs, but aren’t addicted.
Teen drug abuse can have long-term cognitive and behavioral effects since the teenage brain is still developing.
In recent years, technology has given children and youth a new means of bullying each other. Cyberbullying, which is sometimes referred to as online social cruelty or electronic bullying, has been defined as an aggressive, intentional act carried out by a group or individual, using electronic forms of contact, repeatedly and over time against a victim who cannot easily defend him or herself.
Cyberbullying can involve:
- Sending mean, vulgar, or threatening messages or images
- Posting sensitive, private information and/or lies about another person
- Pretending to be someone else in order to make that person look bad
- Intentionally excluding someone from an online group
Children and youth can cyberbully each other through:
- Instant messaging
- Text or digital imaging messages sent on cell phones
- Social networking sites
- Web pages
- Chat rooms or discussion groups
- Other cyber technologies
Source: Stop Bullying Now
Every large urban school district is affected by street gang activity; however, youth gangs are not simply a large city or inner city problem. Nor are they a problem of particular race or culture. Gang membership crosses all ethnic, racial and geographic boundaries.
No single warning sign indicates that a child is behaving in a manner that potentially places the youth at risk of gang involvement.
What is a gang?
A youth/street gang should be defined as a closely (or loosely) structured group of individuals who may express their identification by adopting certain dress attire, adoption of symbolic behavior to include nicknames of individuals, tattoos, hand signs, and the claiming of territory in a neighborhood. The activities of this group include criminal acts of violence, threats, and anti-social behavior.
A youth/street gang may be small or large in membership, with subdivisions determined many times by location of the gang or ages of the members. (Sometimes smaller gangs will be called “sets”, “cliques”, “posse”, or “crews”.)
Authored by: Det. G. “Sandy” Sandoval (Retired)
Author: Healthwise Staff
Violence causes more injury and death in children, teenagers, and young adults than infectious disease, cancer, or birth defects. There is no single explanation for the violence caused by youth. Many different factors cause violent behavior in teens. The more these factors are present in a child’s life, the more likely he or she is to commit an act of violence. Behavior will change depending on a child’s age and gender. Violent behavior may be targeted at parents, other teens, friends, or other family members.