There are many reasons people try drugs or drink alcohol but for teenagers, it is often the result of peer pressure. Many adults assume that teenagers are encouraged to drink or take drugs by their peers. They believe that groups are egging each other on. While this is often the case, it is sometimes more subtle than this.
It could be a simple roll of the eyes by one of the cool kids that says to everyone else that one teenager is a nerd, or a group of children laughing when one teenager refuses to take a pull of a joint. When everyone is laughing, that teenager may feel pressurised to take the joint the next time in order to feel accepted. This type of peer pressure has been going on for years, but today teenagers have an added worry – being pressured or bullied online.
The internet is a major part of life for everyone these days, including teenagers. The widespread nature of the internet means that in an instant a huge number of people can hear about an incident that happened at school or even at another school, and bullying can then begin. If someone decides that he or she does not want to go to a party at the weekend because of homework or studying, they may be subjected to texts, messages on Facebook, or indirect tweets about how nerdy they are. They may even be shunned because of their decision. This online bullying can result in kids and teenagers doing something they did not want to do just to take the attention away from them.
Bullying can destroy lives, and many teenagers have ended up with drug and alcohol addictions because they succumbed to peer pressure online. They have taken drugs or drank alcohol because they have felt pressurised into doing so and not because they wanted to. Tragically, some teens have died because of reactions to drugs they have taken or have committed suicide because of the torrent of online abuse they have been subjected to.
The best way to deal with online bullying is to ignore it. In most instances, the bullies will get bored if they do not get a response. If you do not react, there is no fun in it for them, and they will usually move on to their next victim. Nonetheless, sometimes they do continue and, in these circumstances, the affected individual should speak to an adult, who can then take the matter further. Online bullying is a crime, and the perpetrator can be punished.
If you are a teenager and feel as if you are being pressured into doing something you do not want to do, such as taking drugs or alcohol, speak to an adult you trust immediately. This may be a parent or an older sibling or relative. Speak to other teenage friends who also do not want to drink or take drugs and stick together.
Stand up for others who you think are being bullied or pressured by others. Help them to stand up to the bullies, and get others involved.
If you or a friend has developed an addiction to drugs or alcohol, then it is important that you get help as soon as possible. Addiction can affect individuals of all ages, and many youngsters are vulnerable to addiction. If you cannot speak to your parents about your problems, talk to a guidance teacher or call us here at Rehab Helper. We have a team of experienced counsellors and therapists who can help you with your addiction issues and we can get you the help you need to get better. Contact us today for more information.