Drugs & Health Blog

Resisting Peer Pressure: Tips From a SADD Student Leader

Image courtesy of Lauren Roscoe.

Lauren Roscoe, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) 2018–19 National Student of the Year

As a student, I see firsthand what happens in school every day. One issue that concerns me more and more is the misuse of drugs. Whether students are trying marijuana for the first time or taking prescription stimulants to stay awake, I’ve wondered: What makes some people want to use these substances and possibly harm their body?

There are many reasons why, but I know some students experiment with drugs because of peer pressure. The student leaders I work with in Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) are preparing their peers to respond when someone offers them drugs. Here are some of their tips.

Stand your ground

If someone asks you to try drugs, “no” is such a powerful word. Be polite, but stand your ground. You could suggest doing something healthy or active instead, like bowling, or hiking, or going to a movie. Suggesting alternatives might encourage some of your peers to resist the pressure to use drugs, too.

Another idea: Come up with a phrase for saying no that’s so unique, it lightens the situation instead of creating tension. One person’s phrase was, “I have to go rhinestone my unicorn.”

Create a family plan

Let’s be real. Resisting the pressure to use drugs isn’t always easy. So, it’s good to have a plan in place for these situations. One idea is to have a discussion with your parents about what to do. For instance, you could create a code word to text to your family or another trusted person so they’ll call you right away. This gives you a safe, reliable way to exit the situation.

You really can resist peer pressure to use drugs. Surrounding yourself with positive influences, finding creative ways to say no, and setting up a family plan can help.

Staying Healthy
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To resist is so hard. As a parent, I made a contract with my daughter as she went into 6th grade: No drugs, alcohol, tobacco or sex during your school years and I would award her with $5,000 in a savings account. She used me as her excuse not to do any of the above mentioned, and she received her $5,000 upon high school graduation to do with what she wanted. I know this sounds daunting for parents, but I put away $100 each month in a savings account, and it added up quickly. She still has some of the money left (she graduated from college in 2017) and she uses it for traveling. I think too, this set precedence, and she didn't get into the "partying all the time" mode in college.
Avoiding the peer pressure can definitely be hard, especially at parties. The key is to choose good friends that always support you and do not pressure you into doing things that are not good or that you do not wan to do.
peer presure is a pretty high cause of why kids get addicted to things so young, also to look cool and get more attention

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