Overcoming Peer Pressure Against Drugs
Every day, kids face tremendous social pressure at school, on the playground and just hanging out with friends at home. While some forms of peer pressure are good, such as a friendly competition to get better grades, others can be downright deadly. According to the Adolescent Substance Abuse Knowledge Base, approximately 30% of kids admit to being offered drugs or alcohol in middle school and high school. Unfortunately, some of these kids will give in to the peer pressure and place themselves at risk for the negative consequences that accompany addiction. Since peer pressure is a powerful thing, it is important for kids to be empowered with the tools and knowledge they need to overcome temptation.
Keep Communication Open
It is important for parents to make sure that their kids know they can come to them with any problem. Listen without judgment to any topic your children bring up, and remember that when they say a friend is having a problem, it may actually be about themselves. When you approach every conversation with an open mind, you can get to the true issue at hand and guide your child in the right direction.
Teenagers who are involved in their school and community develop self-confidence that makes it easier to resist peer pressure. Activities such as playing sports or volunteering also put kids in touch with peers who are less likely to do drugs. Parents should also strive to be actively involved in their kid’s life. Show up to games, pick them up from school occasionally, and get to know their friends. Introducing yourself to your kid’s friend’s parents will also make things easier if you ever deal with a serious case of peer pressure that requires adult assistance.
Establish Clear Boundaries
Curfews and other rules are not meant to make a teenager’s life miserable. In fact, having boundaries can give teens a person to blame when they are trying to resist peer pressure. Telling their friends that they have to be home at a certain time is one way to avoid being pressured into doing drugs. While you are defining boundaries, be sure to tackle the subject of drugs and alcohol so that everyone is clear that it is not allowed.
Practice Saying No
Even adults struggle with saying no to the people they care about. As a teenager who is afraid of losing their friends, it is even harder. Fortunately, saying no gets easier with practice, so families can role play peer pressure situations together. Let your child practice giving excuses such as that they get drug tested for sports, or they can just flat out say that drugs aren’t their thing. This way, a teen can find out what types of responses work best for them, and it will seem natural to say no when they are subjected to peer pressure.
Know The Warning Signs
When a child begins to fall prey to peer pressure, they will give off signs that something is amiss. For example, your child may begin to hang out with a different crowd, or they may be secretive about their friends and activities. If they begin to use drugs or alcohol, then you may also notice warning signs of addiction such as mood swings and a sudden drop in their grades.
There is no way around it, at some point almost every child is subjected to peer pressure. Arming kids with the knowledge and confidence they need to say no is essential for steering them out of harm’s way. If you have a concern about peer pressure or are worried that your child may have already given in, then get help today since early treatment is the best way to prevent the dangerous consequences of addiction. Contact Right Path Drug Rehab if a loved one has succumbed to peer pressure and is suffering from drug or alcohol abuse.