Demystifying The Link Between Peer Pressure And Addiction

A peer is someone with the same level of understanding. It might be a person with equal age, grade within a profession or economic class. Your peer group is people of same age and status whom you spend time together. So, peer pressure is the influence on your lifestyle from your circle of friends. Most times, it involves adapting behaviors these individuals would not do themselves.

If your group values a particular behavior, there might be pressure to conform to it. Do your friends drink or use drugs? It might be so hard to say no. However, peer pressure is a double-edged sword. It can be good or bad. Your peers have a significant impact on the decisions you make. Hanging around people who do particular things increases the tendency to follow suit.

According to Columbia University, you are six times more likely to begin drinking if your friends do. It arises from the pressure to fit in. You will always be behaving and making decisions on what your peers think is right. Thinking that taking drugs or drinking alcohol is cool offers a more significant chance to try it at least once.

Social Support And Peer Pressure

Demystifying The Link Between Peer Pressure And Addiction: Young Couple in City at Night

Demystifying The Link Between Peer Pressure And Addiction: Young Couple in City at Night

Your peers are essential elements of social support. It is where you go for physical or emotional assistance. Your peers help you understand who you are and how you fit in the real world. Social support you get from your peers comes in various forms. These include:

  • Emotional help when things get hard
  • Source of information
  • Physical support
  • Feedback regarding your behavior

Understanding Social Support For Drug Or Alcohol Abuse

Addicts usually spend time with people sharing the habit. In a peer group, the use of addictive substances is considered normal behavior. All members see non-addicts as deviants and look at them suspiciously. The only thing keeping the team together is substance abuse. So, their shared interest will keep rising higher.

Everyone in a peer group of addicts benefits from all social functions that joining hands offer. They share information on how to obtain and use drugs or alcohol. Each peer is obliged by a social contract to assist others even when it means sharing supplies physically.

Peers also offer emotional support plus feedback on how every member behaves in the group. Addicts get comfort in the group without judging the behavior negatively. Addicts in a team that supports substance abuse are less likely to quit the habit.

The moment you decide to quit drugs or alcohol misuse, your peers will not give you go ahead. They are more likely to sabotage any attempt to stop substance misuse. To successfully get rid of the addiction, avoid spending time with friends who do drugs or engage in binge drinking.

Reasons Why People Bow To Peer Pressure

You are likely to give in to peer pressure in a social setting. So, you are more likely to drink when everyone around does the same. Let’s see some reasons for peer pressure:

  • Desire to be liked
  • To avoid ridicule
  • Wanting to be rebellious
  • Interest in trying new things
  • Fitting in
  • Need to escape from the troubles of real life

Dangers Of Giving In To Peer Pressure

If you are to stop drinking or taking drugs, why not learn to stand your ground and say no to peers pressure? Make new friends who are not into drugs and heavy drinking. Giving in to peer pressure exposes you to dangers of addiction It could ruin your life.

The earlier you take alcohol or drugs, the higher you risk becoming addicted. If you become heavily addicted, you may need to learn how to detox your body from drugs. Substance abuse also puts you at risk of various mental and physical health problems. These include:

  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Liver disease
  • Diabetes
  • Anxiety

So, always distance yourself from friends pressuring you to drink or take drugs. These negative influences might come in person or online.

Tips On Combating Negative Implications Of Peer Pressure On Addiction

Peer pressure plays a significant role in the drug or alcohol addiction increase.There are various things that will help you withstand pressure from peers to indulge in destructive behavior. Follow these suggestions:

  • Spend time with role models who encourage making right decisions
  • Build your self-esteem through setting goals and achieving them
  • Acquire knowledge about the dangers of drug or alcohol addictions
  • Talk to an elder for advice
  • Understand the role of status symbols
  • Maintain strong family bonds
  • Encourage open communication with loved ones

Positive Peer Pressure In The Recovery Process

Peer pressure is not always bad and has beneficial implications as well. You can positively use peer pressure, especially while in rehab. Knowing that your sober friends are watching and supporting you will encourage you to press on, even on dark days.

Seeing peers leading healthy and joyful lives might inspire you to strive for the same lifestyle. Peer pressure accounts for addictions, however, it also works in rehab centers to encourage you to stop using drugs and alcohol.


Photo by Papaioannou Kostas on Unsplash