Do You Know The Top 12 Teen Addictions?

Do You Know The Top 12 Teen Addictions?

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Home Page > Home and Family > Parenting > Do You Know The Top 12 Teen Addictions?

Do You Know The Top 12 Teen Addictions?

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Posted: Sep 03, 2009 |Comments: 0


Junk Food
Internet/Computer Use
Marijuana and/or Hash
Over Eating
Under Eating or Anorexia
Self-Harm (primarily cutting or wrist slashing)
Bullying or abusing others
Video Games
How do I know this? Because I asked.

I've spoken to thousands of students across the U.S. and Canada about addictions. Each participant was asked: "What habits(s) do you most want to stop or reduce in your life right now?" The answers were startling.

A group of 265 students (Grades 7-12) anonymously listed 92 different destructive habits with which they were struggling - a total of 1031 times! This means that each child had an average of four habits from which they wanted FREEDOM.

The 12 most common addictive habits are listed above. The other 80 are equally as shocking. (for a full list visit

Who Are These Kids and Where Do They Come From?

For only 265 kids to self-identify 1031 bad habits and addictions seems incredible. But it's true. Yet there was nothing unusual about the type of schools these kids came from and the communities they lived in ranged from low-to-high income.

Often, these weren't your typical "at-risk" students, referred by school officials, guidance counselors or parents. And for school staff, it was an eye opener. Many had been unaware of how many students were suffering in silence, and were stunned to hear of the multitude of addictive behaviors.

How do we reach these Kids?

As a school speaker, I am fully aware that trying to scare students out of experimenting with dangerous or illegal activities is not the most effective approach.

That's why I use my personal story of addiction in a different way -- as a way of connecting my own challenges, pain and choices with theirs, so as to inspire those in pain to attend my healthy habits workshop and 28-day program.

What I've discovered is that kids relate to this. Yes, many are alienated or angry. Those with serious behaviours and addictions are afraid, and they're desperate for a way out. But when someone is honest and direct with them, and has practical answers to the problems they're facing, they are ready to listen.

How Much "Choice" Do We Really Have?

What I've recognized and teach kids in my workshops is that being a victim is a choice. Yes, we may have been "victimized" and experienced bad things in our lives. But how we look at those events now is up to us.

As a teenager, my choices led me to become and stay addicted. By transforming what was behind my addictions and becoming responsible for the decisions I had made, I am now able to live free of addictions, rather than as a victim of my past.

Applying this in our Schools

What I want students to know is that they have this same choice. My workshops help kids shift their attention and energy away from the seemingly hopeless nature of their "bad habits," and redirect it towards developing healthy habits.

We focus on their power to choose, to support others, and be supported by a community and buddy system, while reducing their bad habits until they get to abstinence (if that is what they choose).

This message encourages and enables young people to make far more change than any threats or negative statistics could ever do. And the results are proving very positive.

Final Words

I believe it’s up to us, as adults, to teach kids to take responsibility for the choices that affect their lives, and to offer them practical steps that will give them positive results. And the best way to teach that is to do it for ourselves.

As Gandhi said, "be the change you want to see in the world."

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Scott Gallagher -
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About Scott Gallagher: Addiction expert Scott Gallagher delivers a unique business and school program that teaches proven methods to prevent, reduce and eliminate all kinds of addictions, other bad habits including bullying. Visit


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Article Tags:
addiction, bullying, addictions expert, school speaker, addiction prevention, bullying program

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About Scott Gallagher: Addiction expert Scott Gallagher delivers a unique business and school program that teaches proven methods to prevent, reduce and eliminate all kinds of addictions, other bad habits including bullying. Visit

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