Negative peer pressure can influence a teenager to indulge in drugs. Read on to know the factors which are responsible for drug addiction in teenagers and ways to help them counter drug addiction.
Teenage is a period when one has just begun to get acquainted with the world around. He is experimenting and trying to experience a whole lot of new things. This is a time when one also tastes independence for the first time. This fact itself is so overwhelming that many a times it is getting overboard as the teen forgets the limits and restrictions of life. For them it is breaking all restrictions that define all restrictions.
Teenagers are aware of the fact that doing drugs is not a lawful activity and this provides them with all the more thrill in engaging in it. Even if teens are not straightaway involved in it, they happen to fall into it due to peer pressure. At this age, being accepted by the peer group is very important to them. So getting involved in activities that the group engages which seems to be as important to the teen even if it is a drug.
Factors that Lead to Drugs and Peer Pressure
Here are some factors which lead to drug addiction due to peer pressure.
Alienated Environment at Home
In most cases it is found that teens who fall into this negative peer pressure and drugs hail from families where their needs are not met. Here, the focus is on emotional requirements. At this stage in life although there is this urge to be in the company of a peer group but deep down the teen also craves for the emotional succor at home. They still need the emotional support of their family and parent. But if they find their parents to be extremely strict and restrictive, they are prone to engage in rebellious activities just for the sake of defying their parents.
They basically need their parents to come across as amiable companions with whom they can share their feelings and thoughts. Lack of it only pushes them towards their peer group. Further, they are also made to feel by other members of the peer group that the feelings that they will gain from taking drugs will provide them with an inexplicable pleasure that will make them feel good. This acts as bait for the vulnerable teen who readily gives into the peer pressure.
The Addiction and Spiraling
Although drugging starts with experimentation but once the first step is taken, addiction sets in easily. As an initial drug user, the euphoric high is easily attained, and then the urge to continue happens naturally. Then, even if there is a weak internal resistance, the peer pressure plays its role in the form of the ‘duty’ to maintain group dynamics.
How Can Parents Counter Drug and Peer Pressure?
Let us have a look at how parents can help their kids to combat drug addiction and peer pressure.
Teach to Make Intelligent Choices
The first easy step is to teach the kid to make intelligent choices much before the factors of peer pressure actually set in. It is like instilling the values and that too through the statement of basic facts and presenting the positives and negatives of both sides of the coin.
Teach the Importance of Values
Teach them the importance of values and how it is important to wisely choose the peer group. Explain how it is beneficial for the teen to belong to a peer group who has similar values and thoughts.
Always maintain an easy communication with them. This will enable them to comfortably discuss their thoughts and problems with you. This will also provide you the opportunity to offer suggestions and take guard wherever necessary.
Finally, you need to boost the self-confidence of your teen so that he can uphold the values and does not feel alienated from the family. Counter all the factors that push him towards a negative peer group that indulges in activities like drugging with patience, affection and intelligence.