Special Meeting Wednesday Night Shows How Stunts Like Car-Surfing, Condom-Snorting are Just as Dangerous as Drug Abuse
By Stephen K. Peeples 
Fewer Santa Clarita Valley young people have died of drug overdoses so far this year compared to 2012, a very positive trend reported by KHTS News June 2 .
However, local parents, authorities, educators and addiction experts are now sounding the alarm about the latest risky teen trends — like kids videotaping themselves pulling death-defying stunts like car-surfing or condom-snorting — that can be just as deadly as an overdose of junk or pills.
To bring local parents up to date on these trends, ACTION Family Zone co-founders Cary Quashen (right) and Alex Urbina (below), both experts with at-risk teens and young adults, will host a free seminar at the ACTION Family Zone headquarters in Canyon Country Wednesday evening starting at 6:20.
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“There are about 20 disturbing teen trends going on today,” said Urbina, ACTION Family Zone director of education and a life skills coach with extensive experience working with troubled teens and young adults.
Wednesday’s meeting will include screening of a new video Urbina compiled from almost two dozen mainstream TV news reports about teens and young adults attempting to pull off dangerous and/or death-defying stunts, sometimes with tragic results.
“Some of them are silly, and a lot of them are dangerous,” he said. “Like the car surfing, where you get on top of a car and have your friends drive really fast so you can see what it’s like to surf on top of a car.
“Kids are snorting condoms up their noses and pulling them out of their throats,” he said, citing another example.
The 20 dangerous stunts also include the Cinnamon Challenge, drinking hand sanitizer, huffing freon, eye-balling vodka, inserting vodka-soaked tampons into body orifices and 13 more just as bizarre.
Kids Like to Document Challenges and Dares on Social Media Outlets
“Kids are challenging each other: ‘I dare you to do this, I dare you to do that. Can you do this, can you do that?’” Urbina said. “That's the most dangerous of all, just because kids’ brains aren't fully developed and they can't rationalize the consequences from just trying something, so kids can be more daring.”
Urbina said young people like to show off using social media outlets including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
Especially on YouTube, everyone wants to be recognized, so, kids are doing stupid things and recording themselves and posting it on YouTube,” he said. “It's only a matter of time before another kid gets injured or ends up dying.”
Not surprisingly, Urbina found most of the news clips in ACTION’s video presentation by searching YouTube.
“The news pieces are two to three minutes long, and show the different trends,” he said. “It’s more credible than just showing people what the kids are doing.”
Street Beat: Risky Teen Trends Seen by the Juvenile Detention Team
Wednesday’s seminar will also include a presentation by Bob Wachsmuth and Bill Velek of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Juvenile Intervention Team. They are on the front lines of local drug education and enforcement involving teens and young adults, and see trends developing first-hand.
"I really believe these deputies work for us, they're a service to us," Urbina said. "And I know these guys would love to get in front of parents, to be able to share their knowledge and insight. So, I thought I would help make that happen."
Get Reconnected with What Your Kids Are Doing
Wednesday night's meeting at the ACTION Family Zone is a "good opportunity to call a time-out for the parents of the community, just to come on down and do a check-in," Urbina said.
"If you don't do a check-in as a parent, then I think you slowly start to disconnect from what's really going on with kids and how they're thinking, what the trends are," he said.
"Parents are not involved enough with their kids,” Quashen said. “There have been all kinds of surveys that show parents spend between two and 10 minutes a day with their children. It’s horrible, but it’s no one's fault, it's just the way things are.
First of Many Education Sessions for Parents at ACTION Family Zone
“So we decided we were going to put on trainings and seminars — this is the first one of many — so we could really educate parents about what's going on in their community, what's going on with their kids, what are the signs and symptoms, where to get help,” Quashen said. “We really need to get parents looped into what's going on.”
RELATED: Read the 'Families in ACTION' editorials by ACTION's Cary Quashen at HometownStation.com 
Quashen and Urbina invite all Santa Clarita Valley parents to get into the loop by attending the free seminar.
"We hope parents will get a lot of information and will know and have a better feel of what's going on,” Quashen said.
“Parents need to not only connect with their kids, but also with the community and know what's going on. Together we can make a lot of difference,” he said. “We want parents to show up, see what's going on, get knowledge, get power."
More about the ACTION Family Zone and ACTION Family Counseling
Find the ACTION Family Zone at 20655 Soledad Canyon Road, #24, across from the Home Depot in Canyon Country 91351. For a map, click here .
ACTION Family Counseling's weekly "Families in ACTION"  program airs Mondays at noon live on Santa Clarita radio station AM 1220 KHTS in the Santa Clarita Valley and simultaneously streams live on the Web everywhere else at http://www.HometownStation.com .
For more information about ACTION Family Counseling and its alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs and facilities, call (661) 467-2714 or (800) 367-8336, or visit the ACTION website .
Do you have a news tip? Call us at (661) 298-1220, or drop us a line at email@example.com .
ACTION Family Zone Parents’ Seminar Spotlights Risky Teen Trends
Article: ACTION Family Zone Parents’ Seminar Spotlights Risky Teen Trends 
Source: Santa Clarita News
Author: Stephen Peeples