How Peers Influence Teen Substance Use

 Alcohol and Drug Rehab in Raleigh NCPeer pressure, or the influence friends have over a person, can have a positive or negative outcome. In the case of substance abuse, it’s often the reason teens experiment with drugs and drinking. Studies have shown that even if a teenager believes drinking or taking drugs is harmful, he or she will try them when pressured by friends. If your child needs help, call Legacy Freedom for affordable alcohol and drug rehab in Raleigh NC.

A study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found that teens do weigh the risks of dangerous activities, such as speeding, running a red light while driving, or drug or alcohol consumption. However, they tend to disregard the risk more so than an adult would.

Researchers believe social learning, which is learning through observation, plays a part in a teen’s willingness to take these risks. Learning through observation means a person can see someone else’s outcome before making his own decision. If he sees a positive or rewarding outcome, he will be more likely to participate, too. When it comes to drugs and alcohol, a teen may see his friends socializing and bonding over beers or marijuana, and may want to do the same so he can have the same results.

According to the report, teens make risky decisions because they think it will help them impress the peer group. If a teen has low self-esteem, he will be more likely to do what the peer group does in order to fit in. A teen with a strong sense of self is able to make better decisions that aren’t based on what the peer group thinks. He will weigh the risk with the outcome and will be more likely to say no if he knows it’s a bad choice.

Social learning can help prevent dangerous behaviors as well, but teens need to be exposed to people who don’t support substance abuse. Positive scenarios can be associated with socializing and bonding so that a teen can see other options. However, even if teens have parents or family members who warn them about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, they’re not going to be as influential as a peer.

When a child enters adolescence, their peers play a more prominent role in how their views are shaped. Unfortunately, most teens are still determining what their own beliefs are so they may think one thing and do another, making it difficult for someone within the peer group to know who to follow.

Another factor to consider is that oftentimes teens perceive that something such as drug use is prevalent within a desired peer group, so they will try drugs on their own even though they may not have substantial evidence that everyone else is doing it.

It’s important for parents and older siblings to help give teens better guidance in order to help them shape their own opinions about drugs and alcohol. Teens with a strong sense of where they stand when it comes to drinking or drug use will have a better chance of turning down offers to try them because they don’t feel the reward is worth the risk.

Legacy Freedom - Alcohol and Drug Rehab in Raleigh NC for Teens

If your teen has a problem with substance abuse, give us a call. We’re here to give you the support you need to get your teen into a program that will help him or her get on the road to recovery. Our personalized alcohol and drug rehab in Raleigh NC will ensure that your child will be able to find a solution that works. Because we offer outpatient programs, he or she can continue to go to school while getting help. Call Legacy of Raleigh to speak with an admissions counselor.

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