Coping with peer pressure

  • First of all, you're not alone! You might think you're the only one who hasn't experimented with drugs. In reality, most young people don't take drugs.
  • Think about where you stand on issues like sex, drugs and alcohol.
  • Prepare by thinking through how you want to respond and behave in situations where these things come up.
  • Nobody should have to justify a decision not to take drugs.
  • Whether you have a strong personal commitment, or just don't want it this time, your choices are your business.
  • If you're offered drugs you don't want, say no firmly but clearly and without making a big deal about it. If they try to persuade you, humour can be an effective way to deal with the situation.
  • Having the strength to say "no" can be hard. However, it also feels good to stick with what you believe in. Explaining to people in a calm way why you don't want to be part of something may earn you respect from others.
  • Finding out about the different drugs, from the effects to the risks involved, can help you resist pressure. As your understanding grows, so will your confidence.
  • It's natural to want to fit in with friends. After all, nobody likes to stand out from the crowd for the wrong reasons. We need to feel that we belong. Still, although they may not show it immediately, your friends will respect you more if you're clear about what you want and what you don't want to do.
  • It might not seem like it, but you're not the only one worrying about what other people think of you. Try to focus on your own opinion of yourself-in the end, that's all that matters.
  • Peer pressure is often a way for people to seek approval for their own behaviour. Do you really want to get involved to help justify someone else's drug use?

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