Major causes of death among runaways:
- Illnesses / Diseases (including sexually transmitted diseases & HIV/AIDS) and other illnesses
- Drug overdose
Many runaways become involved in criminal activities such as:
- Drug dealing
- Gang activity
Before running away. You will be able to answer these questions:
- Why is running away from home the best thing to do?
- What can I do to improve my situation before running?
- Who can I talk to about my problems?
- Will I be safe if I am on the streets?
- How will I survive:
- Shelter-where will I stay?
- Money-how will I get it?
- Food-where will I get it
- Who will help me when I need help?
- Is running away a good/realistic choice?
- What are my options other than running away?
- How will I get the medicine I need? How will I pay for it?
- If I get arrested what will happen to me?
- Who can I trust that I meet on the streets? How can they care about what happens to me – they don’t know me? Do they want to use me or make me do illegal things like selling drugs or becoming a prostitute (this applies to both boys & girls)?
- What about school? Do I want to give up my education? What about my future?
- How will I support myself without any job skills?
- What happens if I go back home?
- If I become ill while living on the streets who will care for me? How and where will I get medical care?
- What happens if I am abducted and forced into prostitution – who will rescue me?
Runaways must support themselves and crime seems to be an easy way to make money. Remember that there is always a price to pay for committing a crime. A criminal record can negatively impact your future.
The National Runaway Switchboard
24 Hour Hotline: 1-800-RUNAWAY