Risk-taking behaviors can be both an unhelpful strategy to cope with poor mental health and can severely impact an adolescent’s mental and physical well-being.
Worldwide, the prevalence of heavy episodic drinking among adolescents aged 15-19 years was 13.6% in 2016, with males most at risk.
The use of tobacco and cannabis are additional concerns. Cannabis is the most widely used drug among young people with about 4.7% of 15-16-years-olds using it at least once in 2018. Many adult smokers have their first cigarette prior to the age of 18 years.
Perpetration of violence is a risk-taking behavior that can increase the likelihood of low educational attainment, injury, involvement with crime or death. Interpersonal violence was ranked the second leading cause of death of older adolescent boys in 2016.