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Drugs & Health Blog

Resisting Peer Pressure

This blog post is archived and is no longer being updated. For the latest content, please visit the main Drugs & Health Blog page.
The NIDA Blog Team

A lot of people are standing up for what they believe in these days. Sooner or later, you’ll probably have the chance to do that, too. If you feel pressured into using drugs or anything else you don’t want to do, you can resist.

The power to resist

“Resist” means you don’t give in to, or go along with, something that somebody wants you to do. Resisting peer pressure can be a challenge—especially for teens, who often want to impress their friends, even if it means taking a risk.

But you can resist peer pressure with practice and a few tips. 

Resistance tips

First of all, you can remind yourself that most teens don’t use alcohol or drugs.

Our sister institute, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, offers these tips for resisting an offer to use drugs or alcohol (and the pressure tactics that the person offering might use):

  • Look the person in the eye.
  • Speak in a polite, but clear and firm, voice.
  • Suggest something else to do.
  • Walk away from the situation.
  • Find something else to do with other friends.

You can always blame your resistance on your parents. Say, “I’d be in big trouble if they ever found out.”

Check out NIDA’s interactive videos (“Choose Your Path”) to get more practice. For tips from a teen, check out this blog post from Students Against Destructive Decisions' Student of the Year, Lauren Roscoe. 

You never have to do anything that will harm your health. You always have the right to resist.


Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


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