Drugs and substance abuse have been sore spots in society for a long time. However, the number of teen abusers has been climbing steadily lately. This isn’t restricted to illegal drugs like crack and heroin, but alcohol as well.

Many of the teenagers who take drugs are just normal teens who are under bad influence; mainly the influence of peer pressure from their substance abusing friends.  You may think to yourself, “Why would my friends pressure me into substance abuse?”  It’s very likely that your friend is under a certain amount of pressure himself.

If you are in a situation where you are under immense pressure to abuse substances, or if you know someone who needs help, use our guide to help you avoid falling prey to peer pressure.

  1. Avoiding Substances

Prevention is always better than cure. It is always better to stay away from substances. After all, it’s always harder to quit once you’re hooked. Imagine this situation, you are at a party with your friend and he or she tries to offer you drugs, what should you do?

The best way to deal with such a situation would be to reject the person and avoid all contact with them. You should also quickly leave before he or she tries again. Even if you are offered an opportunity to try the drugs for free, you should never accept this offer as it will only leave you wanting more and give others an opportunity to extort money from you.

You may think that you have a strong will and just trying a drug will not get you hooked. The truth is that most people who unintentionally end up abusing substances also started out thinking that way. No matter how strong willed you may think you are, you should never take the first dose as it could easily end in you getting hooked for life.

  1. Stand Up for what is Right

If someone is trying to pressure you to take drugs or alcohol, be firm with them. We all know that taking drugs and underage drinking is illegal and that you can get arrested for it. So do not cave in under peer pressure but rather, do the right thing by saying no to drugs and alcohol.

If your friends are pressuring you to take drugs or alcohol by threatening to no longer be your friends if you don’t, you would probably be better off without them in the long run. Such people will not build you up and you will only get into more trouble by remaining friends with them.

How to say “No!” Firmly

Many teens cave in under peer pressure as they do not want to offend their friend by saying “no” to them. Here are some ways that you can use to say “No!” firmly without coming off as rude or offensive:

  1. Just say no – In some situations, it is best to just say no immediately and leave – no questions asked. This is especially useful in a situation where you are about to cave in under the pressure.
  2. Humor – Certain situations call for some light joking and banter. By creating humor, you can avoid a tense atmosphere and direct attention away from you. Laugh it off with a joke that makes it clear you’re not going to try drugs or underage drinking.
  3. Reason it out – Explain why you think it is a bad idea and the potential damages it could cause. This not only helps you say ‘no’ but can also help others to understand why they should quit drugs or alcohol.
  4. Work as a pack – If you have a group of close friends whom you know you can trust, this may be the best solution yet. It is good to always have someone who can back you up in situations when peer pressure strong. It is also good to be able to mutually support one another. Talk it over with your friends!

That said, if you have already fallen victim to peer pressure, it is not the end of the world. You can still seek help for yourself or someone whom you know who needs help.

The best way to do so would be to seek professional counselling and if you are addicted, you may have to go for treatment at an inpatient rehabilitation center. That way, you can not only quit drugs and alcohol, but also prevent relapses and be clean for life.

Group therapy is also a good option as you can share experiences with fellow substance abusers and ex-addicts who can mutually help one another.

Nonetheless, prevention is always better than cure. Learn how to deal with peer pressure so that you will never fall prey to substance abuse.