Risk Taking Behaviors

Risk Taking Behavior

At Northbound Treatment Services, we succeed where other attempts to change behavior have failed.

Northbound understands the patterns associated with risk taking behavior and is here to help you or your loved one learn to make better decisions. People may joke about being “addicted” to risk or adrenaline, but for some, there is a deeper and troubling truth. When it comes to dangerous and risk taking behaviors (whether it’s shoplifting, random sexual encounters or even extreme sports), some individuals develop an addiction to adrenaline and the associated manic highs. Risk-taking is a type of process addiction, much like internet and video game addiction, and is a disease just like drug addiction and alcoholism. The person suffering from an addiction to a risk taking behavior is experiencing an incurable and progressive disease; the good news is that it can be arrested and managed through therapy and treatment. In treating such disorders, it is important to remember that the act of risking one’s body is not truly the problem. While the behavior is the addiction, the problem lies in the person: their risk-taking behavior is a symptom of the disease.

Exaggerated Uniqueness

Risky behavior in teenagers and others persons often includes an exaggerated sense of self-importance or uniqueness and a preoccupation with receiving attention. They will often overstate their own achievements and talents, or focus upon the special nature of their problems. Risk takers are often called “egomaniacs with an inferiority complex.”


For those who believe that all negative behaviors can be stopped merely by an exercise of willpower, it can be challenging to understand risk takers. It is important to remember that risk-takers face the same problems that people with substance addictions do, even though the term “risk-taker” is sometimes used to differentiate risky behavior from substance addictions. It’s helpful to think of risk-taking as a compulsion related to an activity, while substance addiction is a compulsion related to a substance. Substance-related addictions have had recognition for hundreds of years, but it is only recently that we have begun to understand the addictive properties of compulsive risk-taking behaviors.

Addiction appears to be the result of a variety of extremely complex factors. Genetics, social status, and state of mind can all play a role in addiction. Further complicating the psychology of addiction is the unique interplay and effect of one’s childhood experiences. Research indicates that psychological gratification is closely related to addiction in the way that people indulge themselves in exchange for some kind of “reward”; this, in turn, can create a dependency on a particular substance or an activity.

Respect and Dignity

At Northbound Treatment Services, we succeed where other attempts to change behavior have failed. Our clients are treated with respect and dignity and our goal is the comprehensive healing of all disorders. We offer both intensive outpatient and intensive residential treatment. Clients work within a 12 Step treatment program and focus on the underlying issues that fuel their addiction. A series of assessments and a thorough individualized treatment plan provide the groundwork for immediate, long-term, and effective healing.

Adrenaline addictEach client receives more than 40 hours a week of individual and group therapy, and all of our therapists hold a master’s degree or higher in their respective disciplines. Each client is matched to a therapist who specializes in a treatment method that best serves the individual client. Rather than stick the client into a “treatment track,” we build a unique plan according the client’s needs.

Because our goal is to make a healthy and lasting life change, during the early phases of recovery, the focus is on gaining insight into the destructive attitudes and behaviors that lead to treatment failure. The goal is to begin controlling the symptoms, reduce isolation, and increase social connections so therapeutic paths can begin to help.

As treatment progresses, it becomes time to combine our nurture and support with the need to challenge the individual to get honest about the underlying issues driving his or her behaviors. This is often the most difficult—and the most rewarding—period, and the one in which we look to build on success towards a lasting recovery. Because we seek to help our clients celebrate continuous sobriety, Northbound offers a continuum of care beginning with a minimum of 90 days of treatment with plans laid out for the first year.

If you believe that you or someone you love is trapped in a cycle of addictive, risk taking behavior, we can help. Contact Northbound today to take the first step on the path toward living sober.

Explore Risk Taking Behaviors