Despite how confident you might be on your decision not consuming drugs and alcohol, it can be very difficult to resist the temptation when all your friends are using them. In many times, the two-word sentence is just enough, “no, thanks.” But sometimes, it is not enough and the emotions can be very strong.
Making decisions on your own and as an uninformed kid can be hard enough. However, when your friends are involved, it can be trickier and can pressure you to do what they think is good. When your peers manipulate how you act or influence you to do something, it is referred to as peer pressure.
Avoiding Peer Pressure to Abuse drugs and alcohol
Your peers might influence your life either positively or negatively. You learn from each other even without realizing. Peer pressure is a major contributing factor to teenage drug and alcohol abuse. Nobody wants to experience rejection and thus you will do anything to fit in. The desire of belonging in a certain group is normal and most teenagers and even young adults experience such.
Managing peer pressure isn’t that difficult if you are surrounded by people whom you have similar values, tastes, and behaviors. However, in a school environment, it is unlikely to find people whom you share attitudes and behaviors. In some instances, you may feel comfortable and easy to stand on your ground, but at others, you might be pressured and tempted to behave against your principles.
Moreover, when at school or college you are away from your parents and got more freedom of making your own decisions than before. The urge to try new things or do things that your family has always warned you against is very strong. But, it is always vital to reflect on your values and what you want to accomplish.
If you join the crowd and smoke marijuana, something you could never consider before, what will happen? What are the possible negative outcomes? Will I feel bad about going against my values for fear of judgment or rejection? All that matters is your considerations.
You know how detrimental drugs are to your health and academic performance, but your buddies keep on pressuring you to attend the parties where drugs are present. Ignoring your instincts can seem simple than ignoring your peers. You can’t avoid places where drugs and alcohol are available or friends who abuse drugs, but you can figure out how to deal with peer pressure when in a tempting situation.
The pressure to join the rest can be very intense for teenagers. You want to be part of the circle but you don’t want to look uptight. Although it might be tricky to resist, you should always remember that drugs have dangerous effects, some of which can be irreversible. For example, failing an exam or dropping out of school will affect your life even in the future.
Due to the risky behavior that one is involved in while under the influence like engaging in unprotected sexual intercourse, a girl can get early pregnancy or contract other chronic diseases like HIV/AIDS. Drugs and alcohol contain chemicals that alter the function of the brain. It affects decision making and one can make questionable and regrettable decisions later.
There are various ways in which you can fit in and as well resist peer pressure. The following are some tips on how to avoid substance and alcohol use and still enjoy the company of your peers;
Get the right information
Know all the facts about drug and alcohol. Many students assume that almost every student in college takes alcohol or other drugs, which is not true. In fact, only a small population is involved in drug abuse. In a survey conducted it showed that 85% of children aged 12-17 years reported not to drink alcohol or consume other substances. So if you decide not to abuse drugs or alcohol, you are not alone.
If you have been invited for a party by your friends and you are certain that drugs and alcohol will be available, put yourself in order before. Know what to say if you are pressured to do things out of your way. For instance, you may say that you are not feeling well and the doctor recommended that you avoid drugs and alcohol.
No is a complete answer, say it with confidence.
The effects of drug abuse are more painful than being rejected by friends. If your classmate invites you to a party when his parents are not at home, turn off the offer with an assertive “no.” Don’t feel shy or contemplate about it, but look into their eyes and probably say,” no, I appreciate, but let’s meet at the pool for the basketball game on Sunday.”
It takes a lot of courage to say no to peer pressure, but you can do it. Consider your own feelings; what you believe is right, and your inner strength. Self-confidence can assist you in standing firm, walking away and resisting doing a regrettable thing later. By saying no you can help a friend who wanted to resist too.
Get to know some survival tricks
Learn some tricks you can use while at the party to help you avoid taking drugs and alcohol. While at their grab a bottle of juice or water, most likely no one will offer you a drink since you already have one in your hand. When they try to give you something just says,” I am covered, thank you.”
If you are a sport’s person you can tell your friends that you are staying health to boost your performance. Besides, nobody will argue that hangover would help you maximize your athletic performance. Get yourself busy at the party. You can be dancing or offer to be the DJ.
Saying that you have to study or visit your relative can be a trick too. Nobody wishes to travel after a night of drinks or drugs consumption. If all the tricks failed, blame it on your guardian or parents. Tell them that your parents are very strict and can check you when you arrive home.
Offer to be the caretaker
Your friends will most probably get drunk and messy. Volunteer and ensure that everyone gets home safe. Everyone will be glad that you did not get ‘high.’ Offering to be the designated driver will save you from abusing drugs and alcohol.
Listen to your instincts
If a place doesn’t feel safe and right for you, leave or ask somebody to pick you.
Reasons why peers can very persuasive
Peer pressure can be greatly dangerous regarding drug abuse by adolescents. The following are some reasons why teenage peers can influence you negatively.
- Most teens believe word of mouth recommendations. If one of them tries out a thing and it worked, all the others approve of it including substances and alcohol use.
- Teenagers often have wrong or incomplete information about drugs and alcohol. A peer who is recommending a drug usage is essentially doing that out of misinformation or bad examples from parents. They have no idea of the impacts the drugs have on their health and general life.
- Adolescents only need a little provocation to get into drugs. They bond by sharing things and doing things together as a group. Mostly youth attempt drugs due to peer groups. The desire to be part of the group may outdo one’s beliefs about drug usage. Nevertheless, the advantages of fitting in a group will never outweigh the detrimental consequences of abusing drugs and alcohol.
Ways of Preventing Drug Abuse Among st Teenagers
Drug abuse is a problem that is not only affecting the teenagers, but even adults are struggling with drugs and alcohol. School children are more susceptible to the dangers of abusing drugs. Parents, school administrators, and the enforcement officers should come up with ways of preventing students from getting into drugs.
Some drugs are easily available and are affordable, hence making them popular among the young people. Sadly, each year more youths die from drug-related diseases and others drop out of college and schools. Prevention of drug and alcohol abuse is a shared responsibility in the community. The following are some techniques that can be employed to save teenagers from drugs;
Teenagers always suffer from lack of facts about drug abuse. By educating them consistently about the harmful effects of drug abuse will reduce the instances of abuse among them. Prevention programs steered by government organizations, schools, or community groups should keenly look at each drug specifically and determine the most abused drugs in the community. Educating them is the initial step of protecting them from drugs.
Educate them on the reasons not to abuse drugs. Emphasize on how drug use can affect their academic performance and health. Discuss with them on how their favorite activities like swimming, sports, and other hobbies will be greatly impacted.
Inform them in various ways in which they can resist peer pressure. Discuss with them the tricks they can apply if they get into a tempting situation. Tell that it is very okay to turn down their friends offer to attend a party if drugs and alcohol will be served.
In this 21st century, kids are facing different problems as they discover themselves. With the growing technology, it can be really challenging to raise the children if you are not informed about all that is happening. Some parents knowingly or unknowingly ignore the signs that the kid is having a problem. When they are stressed and don’t know what to do, they turn into drugs.
Ask your children about their views about drug abuse. Listen to them keenly and answer their questions. Assure them that you are honest with them. Watch the teen’s body language while talking with them to see their reactions towards the topic.
Consider discussing the information from media such as TV, radio or movies about drugs and alcohol. Some films and TV programs glorify the abuse of substances. Discuss with the kid about what they hear and see on the screens. It makes them realize that you understand what is going on around them and are ready to help them.
Talk openly and honestly about your experience as a teenager on drug and alcohol abuse. If you chose not to abuse drugs, tell them your reasons. Also, if you abused drugs and alcohol while growing up tell them what triggered you, the effects it caused to your life and health, and how you escaped from drug abuse. You should be ready for any questions from them on drug use.
The key to getting involved in a teenager’s life is boosting open communication. Children will always feel comfortable sharing information with people who don’t criticize or judge them. They will be ready to ask anything about drugs and alcohol anytime.
Storage of drugs
Ironically, all prescription drugs are recommended to be kept out of reach of children. However, some parents still keep them at a place where the teens can access them. Prescription drugs are abused by children since they think that they are safe because their parents are using them and they have been prescribed by a doctor.
Once the teenage abuses prescription drugs, they are more likely to use other substances. Keep all medicines locked in a cabinet and drugs that are no longer used dispose them in the right way or drop them at a local pharmacy. Take an inventory of all medicines at home.
Just like other awkward behaviors, the way a kid perceives drug consumption can be successful if intervened while they are young. Educate them on dangers of using drugs and alcohol while they are young. In most cases, the things which you learned at a young age, you would hardly forget.
Drug abuse mostly takes place at school or in the community, but it all starts with the family. Talking about drug and alcohol abuse at the family level is a good way of preventing drug abuse. Also, as a parent, you should set strict and clear boundaries about the importance of keeping drugs and alcohol away from home. Explain to them the consequences of using substances and alcohol.
Rules can include not riding in a car whose driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol or leaving a bash where there are drugs. Disciplining your children should be consistent and in an affectionate way. Incorporating punishments can only be effectual if you discuss with them about the dangers of getting into drugs.
Monitoring and supervising
Disciplining children entails monitoring keenly and supervising all their actions. Know all your child’s activities and know where they are and with who. Get to know activities supervised by adults that your child can be interested in and motivate them to engage in them
Monitor any changes in their behavior and physical change. Teenagers, when they get into drugs, change their friends and will be secretive when meeting them. Know your child’s friends. If you suspect they are using drugs or you are certain they are in drugs, be sure that your kid can be pressurized to experiment drugs.
They will constantly want to isolate themselves and might no longer have an interest in activities they used to enjoy. If you get suspicious of any of their actions, ask but avoid concluding. Talk to her or him politely without accusing them.
Setting a good example can a better way of preventing drug abuse by teenagers? Don’t use drugs in the presence of your children. Adolescents note everything that their parents do and learn well through the example you set for them.
How to deal with a teenager who is abusing Drugs
As a parent and a person who is well aware of what drug use can do to a person’s health and life, it can be traumatizing to learn that your child is using drugs. However, that should not be the end of the road for the child. Treatment options are available and your kid can get back to normal.
Determine signs of Drug use
Determine the signs of drug abuse such as isolation, change of eating and sleeping patterns, change of friends, mood swings, poor grades at school, problems at school such as breaking rules and violence. Also, some may lose interest in activities they used to enjoy like the family gatherings. You might note that in their room there are medicine containers though the child is not on any medication.
Drug abuse can tear families apart. Divorce and loss of child custody are mostly related to drug abuse in the families. When your kid gets into drugs it can be disappointing and one can end up isolating them. However, despite everything, they are your child and they need your help. The way you react has a great impact on their recovery process.
Respond with affection and never blame yourself. Drug abuse is a choice, and they had an option of not getting into drugs or alcohol. Determine the actions to be taken and forget about the past. What has been done has been done. Focus on your child recovery and remember that you are not alone.
However, when dealing with your child’s turmoil you can suffer from stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders. Learn to take of yourself and ask for help from friends and relatives.
Talk to the teenager
After suspecting, stage an intervention. Plan on the time when the child is relaxed and be ready for anything. Remember the subject is very delicate and a child who is abusing drugs can be very fragile. Avoid assuming you know everything that the teenager is going through. In any way, they got into drugs without your knowledge.
When talking to him or her about drug and alcohol abuse put in mind that there is a very huge difference between confrontation and communication. The kid can deny that they are using drugs and you should not compel them to accept. Don’t assume it is too early; casual consumption of drugs can gradually lead to drug abuse, substance tolerance, and later addiction.
Encourage them to be honest. Speak calmly and never raise your voice or conclude. Talk to the child in a loving way and let them know that you are concerned about their future and health. Tell them your specific suspicion details like the presence of drug paraphernalia in their room which will make it very difficult for them to deny. Ascertain all claims that they make.
Don’t concentrate on the kid but the kid’s behavior. Let them know that they are not a bad child, but their drug abuse behavior is the one that is bad. If the child admits that they are using drugs, tell them how disappointed you are about their actions
Ask for help
Dealing with substance abuse at the family level can be challenging. If your little one is using drugs, it is not the end of the world. Despite everything, they are still your child and your reactions can greatly affect their recovery process.
Perhaps the easiest way to resist peer pressure into teenage drug abuse is by choosing the right friends. If you hang out with people whom you have similar beliefs and behaviors, it will be easy to stay sober and you won’t struggle to learn tricks or make excuses. Also, you should learn to say no with confidence and get the right information on drug and alcohol abuse.
Children can be prevented from the use of drugs by educating them on the right facts about drugs and alcohol. Being open to a teenager can encourage them to ask you anything they are worried about drug usage. Listening to them without judging or criticizing them will make them open to you. Monitor and supervise your entire child’s actions; their friends and activities they are involved in.
If you realize that your little one is abusing drugs don’t get overwhelmed. Be calm and ask for help. Treatment options are available to help them recover from drug abuse.