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Ikea: The Newest Challenge Bringing Trouble to Teens

Just as the country is settling down from learning about the Tide Pod Challenge in which teens across the country started consuming laundry detergent, a new troubling challenge has risen. Teens and kids are running away from home for the Scandinavian minimalism of Ikea warehouses. For now, the challenge has been isolated to the UK. However, officials warn that these social media viral ‘challenges' spread quickly, meaning the trend could spread to the US. Ikea will likely not be the only target in the challenge. The ‘24 Hour Challenge' encourages youngsters to run away from home for a night and campout in a major store, like Ikea, overnight without getting caught. After a pair of teenagers successfully camped, and recorded, themselves in Ikea last year, the trend has been spreading. Officials have warned that trying to build forts, camp out, or stay in warehouse type department stores can put kids at risk. Full of heavy items, dangerous machinery, and a risk for electrical complications as well as fires makes the reality of the challenge quite blunt. In addition, if a child goes missing for 24 hours, it could result in a full scale search party which can be costly, including the cost of parents' worry. The National Conference of State Legislature cites many statistics on runaways in the United States. For example, one out of seven adolescents between the age of 10 to 18 will run away. Seventy-five percent of runaway or homeless youth have already dropped out or will drop out of school. Running away can be a form of coping and obvious escapism in teenagers who might be struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. Participating in such a ‘challenge' is a demonstration of a lack of foresight common in teenagers who are prone to risky and impulsive behavior. However, drug and alcohol abuse can enhance teens' risk taking and impulsivity.

Confronting substance abuse and addiction in teens is essential for recovery. Research has found that early interventions are most successful in creating long-term sobriety for a healthy and happy future. Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center offers residential treatment programming for adolescent and teenage boys. In addition to academic support, our programs help build a positive foundation while providing life cleansing healing therapies.

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