Young people experiencing peer pressure and substance abuse simultaneously

Peer Pressure and Substance Abuse

Peer pressure is a common issue many young people face, especially regarding substance abuse. If peer pressure and substance abuse have led you to addiction, you must get professional help. Contact Promises Brazos Valley at 979.426.0086 or through our online form to talk to one of our team members about alcohol detox and our other addiction treatment services and programs.

How Are Peer Pressure and Substance Abuse Linked?

Peer pressure is the influence one person exerts over another to do something the other would not ordinarily do. People are more likely to engage in behaviors considered acceptable by their peers. Individuals also tend to give in to peer pressure and do things they would not normally do to fit in and be like everyone else.

Peer pressure can lead you to do many things you usually would not. Peer pressure and substance abuse are common, especially in your teens and twenties. The pressure can be subtle, such as a friend asking if you want a cigarette or a beer. Although they are not forcing these substances on you, you may feel pressure to accept them just to fit in with the group and avoid rejection. 

Sometimes, the peer pressure to engage in substance misuse can be overt. If you tell your friend you do not want to smoke or drink, they may try to encourage you to do so or tease you for not using these substances. They may even refuse to hang out with you if you do not join them in smoking or drinking.

About Peer Pressure and Alcohol Misuse

Another person cannot force you to drink or use drugs, so how do peer pressure and alcohol misuse happen? There are several reasons that a person may drink even when they do not want to:

  • Wanting to engage in behaviors considered acceptable by their peers – Peer groups exert their most substantial influence during adolescence and early adulthood. This is when people are most likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol. When you hang out with your friends at parties or concerts, you may feel like you should be drinking just because everyone else is.
  • Having difficulty saying no or standing up for oneself – Peer pressure can be a powerful way to manipulate people into doing things they would not normally do. For example, if you are hanging out with your friends and they ask if you want to do shots of liquor with them, you may initially say no. But if they try to coerce you through encouragement or criticism, you may give in to appease them or avoid conflict.
  • Wanting to be part of a group or fit in with others – Peer pressure can be extreme when you are young and beginning to form your identity. If you do not have good adult role models or authority figures to guide you, you may be even more likely to turn to your peers for a sense of belonging. And sometimes, to be part of the group, you may do things out of character, such as consuming alcohol.

Although you might think you can just say no when you do not want to use substances, facing your peers can be more complicated. Seek support if needed to abstain from alcohol misuse.

Learn How to Deal with Peer Pressure and Alcohol Misuse at Promises Brazos Valley

If you or a young person you care about is drinking due to peer pressure, it may be time to discuss the dangers of alcohol misuse. Excessive drinking can quickly lead to dependence, so getting help before addiction sets in is best. Contact Promises Brazos Valley today at 979.426.0086 if you need support for yourself or a loved one.

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