A NIDA-funded study found that a healthy person was at a higher risk for abusing drugs if a sibling or spouse abused drugs. The closer the siblings are in age, the greater the chances.
Your family life is just one factor that plays into whether you try drugs or stay away from them. Here are some other factors in teens’ lives that may affect the decision:
- Media influence. People on TV talk about drugs a lot—whether it’s Molly or marijuana or meth. Drugs are in the news and joked about on sitcoms. Some teens might be curious what all the fuss is about.
- Peer pressure. If your friends are doing it, chances are you are too. It’s not a guarantee, but peer pressure can be tough to resist.
- Feeling lonely or bullied. Studies have shown that if people feel alone, they may be more prone to use drugs and get addicted. And, teens may mistakenly think that drugs may help them cope with hard times.
- Being around drugs. Ever promise yourself that you won’t snack on potato chips, but once you see other people eating them, you feel the pull to have one too? It’s the same with drugs—if you’re around people who use them, you may start to feel like everyone is doing it and like it’s no big deal.
If you experience one or even all of these factors, it doesn’t mean that you are fated to use drugs. You can do lots of things to stay away from them, such as join drug-free after-school clubs or talk to a friend, teacher, or counselor if you are going through rough times.
What are your ideas for how to stay away from drugs or resist peer pressure?