Peer pressure and drugs: Definition, risk factors, and addiction

Creating a group that you can turn to can make a world of difference when dealing with peer pressure. Just as in-person interactions can be both positive and negative, communication through social media can also have a positive or negative effect. Social media is constantly available, enabling teens to receive those messages 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This means social media has great potential to amplify feelings of peer pressure, both negative and positive. From the beginning, parents work to teach their children how to make healthy decisions. But as children age, parents’ influence decreases and the opinion of peers becomes more and more important.

  • To be honest, peer pressure is not something we can simply escape from.
  • Nonetheless, the unspoken peer pressure that happens in schools can be a cause of depression in teens, and that’s why we are going to discuss how parents can help reduce pressure in teens.
  • Peer pressure occurs when a peer group exerts direct or indirect pressure to do certain actions.
  • As a natural result of expanding knowledge and understanding, students begin to look for acceptance and recognition from their friends and peers, called reference groups.
  • Self-regulation involves the ability to control thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in order to manage current behavior and achieve long-term goals.
  • Many people see peer pressure as having negative effects, such as encouraging someone to smoke.

Peer pressure is any type of influence, positive or negative, that comes from a peer group. In the case of teens, parents are rarely concerned about the peer pressure their kids may face to engage in sports or exercise, as these are typically seen as healthy social behaviors. This is OK, as long as the exercise or sport does not become an unhealthy way of coping, excessive to the point of negatively affecting their health, or dangerous (as in dangerous sports). If you feel pressured by people to do things you’re uncomfortable doing, there are lots of ways to respond. Be prepared to deal with peer pressure by having a response ready.

Rising Above Peer Pressure

However, it is important to note that peer pressure can also sometimes be positive. For example, a person’s friends may encourage them not to use drugs. Educators play a vital role in teaching students to make wise choices, and maintain their individuality by following the path to positive consequences. Students can learn that they are in control and that they have the power to resist. Support and guidance from teachers reduces the likelihood of students allowing negative peer pressure to influence their thoughts, words, behavior, and self-esteem. In addition, the prefrontal cortex – a critical component of decision-making – is still developing from ages 12 to around 17.

  • For example, of the 29% of teens who responded they felt peer pressure to look “good,” girls were more likely than boys to say they feel a lot of pressure to look good (35% vs. 23%).
  • Negative peer pressure is the influence a person faces to do something they wouldn’t normally do or don’t want to do as a way of fitting in with a social group.
  • If they are being pressured by friends to smoke cigarettes they might say, “No thanks.
  • People, especially teens and young adults, may be more likely to do prosocial behaviors when they see people their own age doing the same things.
  • Seeing peers use substances regularly can also give the impression that the substances are safe to use or won’t have any negative effects.

Positive peer pressure will almost always push a person to discover their capabilities and strengths. On the other hand, negative peer pressure can lead to habits that are both cyclical and how to deal with peer pressure damaging. Alcohol and drugs, for example, are usually used in group settings. Being there for teens when they are faced with the challenges of peer pressure can make all the difference.

Mental health support

The truth is that many fewer college students drink or use drugs than people assume. It’s similar with sex and «hooking up»—most students have a skewed idea of what others are doing. Knowing the facts can help you to resist pressures based on the idea that «everyone is doing it» and that you must party to fit in.

Unfortunately, not everyone is a good friend, nor does everyone have good intentions. Consider who your friends are and if they’re truly capable of helping to inspire growth and good deeds. Supporting others’ opinions will send the message that you think for yourself. However you’re feeling, there are people who can help you if you are struggling.

It isn’t easy saying ‘no’ when you’re being pressured by your mates

Maybe you got others excited about your new favorite book and now everyone’s reading it. For example, you might see what kids in your class are wearing, like it, and wear something like that, too. When you’re faced with a choice, ask yourself what your reasons are for doing something. If it’s because all of your friends are doing it and you’re afraid they won’t talk to you if you don’t join them, then you may want to reconsider. It can be helpful to remember that a person does not have to do everything that their peers do.

how to deal with peer pressure

«I was being peer pressured to be mean to one of my friends… I knew it wasn’t right and I felt awful that I was doing this to one of my closest friends.» The best way to handle a peer pressure bully is to nab him (or her) when the two of you are alone and explain how you’re feeling and ask him/her to get off your case. Eden Pontz is Executive Producer and Director of Digital Content for CPTC. She oversees digital media content development and production for

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For this reason, we prepare our children to navigate teen culture when we help them clarify values and think through what they want for themselves. Parents can support teens to follow their own thoughts and feelings and still feel like they are fitting in. With indirect pressure, adolescents are exposed to the actions of one or more peers and can choose which one to follow. This type of peer pressure can be exemplified in fashion choices, personal interactions, social behaviors, teams, parties, media, and groups of friends, among others.

  • They can be there to give advice or just support the decisions you’ve made that you feel are right for you.
  • If they seemingly feel unable to come to you, for now, let them know it’s also okay to seek guidance from a trusted adult other than yourself.
  • Being pressured by peers can be a stressful experience, whether it happens in person or online.
  • Other great influencers of children, youth, and adolescents are teachers.

Positive peer pressure can foster sense of belonging, self-confidence and a solidified sense of self. People like to pretend and aim to impress (especially on social media). You must recognize your own value and worth and appreciate your unique life.

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