There was a group of five people in Adelaide’s friendship group at school. They are in year 10. Her friend Skylar, invited Adelaide and the rest of their group to a party that she saw going around people from their school on Facebook. Their friend lied saying it was her party so they would all agree to go to the party because her friend knew they wouldn’t agree. On the day of the party all their friends show up at Skylar’s house thinking that’s where the party is. When they get there Skylar tells them that they should go down to the park to get to the party. All their friends are confused but agree. They walk down to the party they found on Facebook and see a lot of people that are a lot older than them. They see people drinking alcohol and they see someone selling drugs. Adelaide and the rest of their friends want to leave but Skylar is pressuring them to stay saying that it will be fine and they can just avoid the drugs and alcohol. The friends agree not wanting to lose Skylar as a friend or for her to spread rumours around the school. They all agree to stick together so that nothing happens and they can all leave at the same time. At some point during the night Skylar walks off to get a drink and doesn’t come back. The other girls don’t notice because someone had spiked their drinks with alcohol so they were all not paying attention very well. Around an hour later Adelaide was sobering up because she had stopped drinking after she tasted something funny in her drink. She noticed that Skylar was missing but didn’t want to leave her other friends, until she sees Skylar in the corner snorting cocaine with a group of older guys. Adelaide walks over to her wanting to get her out of the situation. Adelaide is resitting and say that’s she fine. The guys are trying to pressure Adelaide into doing cocaine with them. Adelaide says no knowing that doing drugs is bad but leaves Skylar there not wanting to involve herself. She goes home with her other friends and leaves Skylar there. Two days later Adelaide’s mum told the group that she died from a drug overdose.
What are the positive and negative consequences from this situation?
A positive consequence that comes from Adelaide getting out of the party with her friends is that nothing bad happened to them and they were safe and went home.
A negative consequence that comes from Skylar leaving Adelaide at the party is that she died of a drug overdose when she was so young.
How could this group of minimised the risks they created for themselves in this situation?
- They could have left before they found out the party has drugs and alcohol
This would have worked because then they wouldn’t have been putting themselves in a risky situation in the first place and the risk would have been eliminated altogether.
- Adelaide could’ve tried harder to get Skylar out of the situation
This might not have worked because it could’ve gotten Skylar involved in the drug taking and something might have happened between Skylar and the boys. If it worked then they would have still had a risk because Skylar was high and the other girls were drunk but nothing worse would’ve happened.
- Skylar could’ve not walked off by herself
If Skylar didn’t walk off by herself, she probably wouldn’t of gotten approached to do drugs or if she decided she wanted to do drugs on her own her friends could’ve convinced her not too.
- They could’ve asked more about the party when Adelaide first invited them.
The group would’ve realised that it was not her party and they could’ve said they couldn’t go and try and convince Skylar not to go as well.
What you should know so this doesn’t happen to you
Why do teenagers make risky decisions?
Adolescents make risky decisions because they like to feel the thrill of doing something risky. The adolescent brain is built to seek out new experiences that can sometimes be very risky. Adolescents can be very self-conscious and just want to fit in so peer pressure can have a major impact on them making risky decision. Adolescents also do not think or know about the consequents that come along with making a risky decision. Some common risks that adolescents make are drug taking, drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes. These risks can all lead to consequences such as – rape, alcohol poisoning and death.
How can teenagers make a better decision?
To use the decision-making process, you must
- Identify the problem
- Find a descion criteria
- Weigh decision criteria
- Find alternatives
- Evaluate those
- Choose the best outcome
- Do what you decided
What can interfere with decision making?
Adolescents are making likely to not think about the decision-making process because of peer pressure, wanting to fit in and too seem cool to people they want to impress. A more scientific way of talking about what can interfere with their decision making is because of how much adolescent’s brains are changing and they do not think about the consequences of making risky decision and how much it will affect them later in life.
How do teenagers get into a risky environment?
Teenagers are bought into risky environments because of going to parties with friends or by themselves. Some parties can have people there that are selling drugs and drinking alcohol. This might not be known before you go to the party but when they get their they can see their friends doing it and to want to fit in they might do it too.
How do you know if you’re in a risky environment?
Someway you could know if you’re in a risky environment is;
- The party is unsupervised
- They’re is alcohol there and you are underage
- There is a lot of people you don’t know at the party
- You don’t know the host of the party
- There is people drinking and doing drugs
- There is someone selling drugs
- People are already drunk and high when you get there
What you should remember
Remember during your teenage years – even though you are meant to make risky decisions just remember to think about what you’re doing it and why you’re doing before going through with what you are going to do.
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Goverment, V. (2015). Partying safely – tips for teenagers. [online] Betterhealth.vic.gov.au. Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/partying-safely-tips-for-teenagers [Accessed 27 Mar. 2017].
Kearny, C. (2012). Why Are Teens More Likely To Take Risks? Study Explains. [online] Medical News Today. Available at: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/251509.php [Accessed 27 Mar. 2017].
Understanding Teenagers Blog. (2015). Why Teenagers Take Risks • Understanding Teenagers Blog. [online] Available at: http://understandingteenagers.com.au/blog/why-teenagers-take-risks/ [Accessed 27 Mar. 2017].