This episode of the Saint Jude Retreats radio show features the myth of adolescence and substance use with guest Dr. Robert Epstein. The radio show host and Executive Director of Saint Jude Retreats, Michelle Dunbar, opens the segment with a brief description of what Saint Jude Retreats is and the philosophy behind it. Trending topics follow, with local and national news connected to young adults.

The interview with our guest follows, as Dr. Epstein is being interviewed by Steven Slate, the Director of the Saint Jude Retreats program in New York City. Slate introduces Epstein- an author, editor, and longtime psychology researcher and professor, who is passionate about educating the public about advances in mental health and the behavioral sciences. Epstein has also conducted research on adolescent and adult competence, voter manipulation, self-control, relationship skills, sexual orientation, and other topics. Dr. Epstein is the author of Teen 2.0: Saving Our Children and Families from the Torment of Adolescence and The Case Against Adolescence: Rediscovering the Adult in Every Teen. Slate and Dr. Epstein discuss the myth of adolescence and substance use in our culture further in the interview. 

Epstein emphasizes that “It is almost shocking to realize that, in more than a 100 cultures around the world, there is really no such thing as adolescence, there is not even a word for that and the turmoil that we see in our culture, which is very real, is pretty much absent or entirely absent in these 100 cultures around the world.” He adds: “That tells you that the kinds of problems that we see, including drug abuse and alcoholism among young people, are produced by culture. There is nothing necessary about that turmoil. It’s the myth that we’ve created saying that this turmoil is inevitable and somehow it’s part of the teen brain or it’s in the genes or something like that, and that’s false, that’s a myth.