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Health Raps: Risky Behavior

Do you make healthy decisions? Risky or destructive decisions may involve a wide variety of behaviors that include:

  • Drinking alcohol
  • Smoking and use of tobacco products
  • Drug use
  • Sexual activity
  • Reckless driving
  • Excessive or unnecessary dieting.

Teenage years are a time to try new things and stretch your limits.  Poor decisions can lead to lifelong injuries, addictions and responsibilities.  The more risky decisions you make the more likely you are to suffer results from those decisions.  

Questions to ask about risky decisions.

  • How do you think destructive decisions affect you as a teenager?
  • How do your decisions affect your family? What about your friends?
  • What are destructive decisions from your point of view?
  • What potentially destructive decisions do you face every day?
  • How do you handle these situations? Do you seek advice from your parents or other adult?
  • What do you do to avoid making destructive decisions?
  • What do you perceive as the dangers associated with alcohol, drugs and tobacco?
  • Do you feel that you have your parents' trust? Why or why not?
  • Are you concerned that your parents make destructive decisions?
  • Do you think your parents' experiences as teenagers are relevant?

Your teenage years can be very frightening for your parents because they know what dangers could potentially be lurking. They might wonderÂ…

  • whether you are drinking or using drugs, or if you will develop a dependency.
  • who your friends are and whether they are trustworthy.
  • if you know the consequences and dangers associated with your decisions.
  • whether you are underestimating or not anticipating the bad things that can happen.
  • how you handle peer pressure.
  • whether you will be honest with them.
  • how to respond to you if you make a decision of which they do not approve.

Before you make a decision

  • Stop and think about its affect on others
  • Determine possible consequences
  • Make sure you are making your own decisions for reasons that are right for you
  • Talk about it with a trusted adult
"Health Raps: Risky Behavior" was produced in September of 2004. For the most recently updated health information, consult a physician and visit health.gov.  

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