Peer Pressure and Drug Use

While it may seem as if drug use is under control, each day someone tries drugs for the first time and becomes addicted. If we know that drugs are bad for us, then why do we continue to insist on getting involved in them? It cannot be stressed enough how important it is for parents to talk to their children. The problem with today’s children and teens lies in the fact that many parents work full time jobs. We no longer live in a world where only one parent leaves for work in the morning. Rather, now we have to contend with both parents working (sometimes two full-time jobs). So, then if this is the case- who is watching the kids? Exactly.

It starts off innocently enough. A child or teenager is hanging out with their friends at someone’s house or after school hours when suddenly someone produces a pack of cigarettes. Before long, the cigarettes are passed out and everyone is taking a drag. But the question still remains: “Why do kids feel the need to try drugs or alcohol?” Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that often times, children witness their parents doing things that they shouldn’t be doing such as drinking alcohol or smoking in front of them.

A different type of situation that many teens find themselves in where they are faced with the decision to do drugs and/or alcohol are at parties. It is really the parent’s responsibility (not the school’s) to sit down with their child and talk to them face-to-face about the inherent dangers of doing drugs and drinking alcohol. There is a reason why there are age restrictions on when you are legally allowed to purchase cigarettes and alcohol. However, despite this fact, kids still find loopholes and ways of getting around it. For some, this temporary rebellion against their parents can have catastrophic setbacks. Year after year, kids become embroiled in drugs. Some join drug gangs and still others learn an even harder lesson when accidental overdoses lead to premature death.

Schools have tried to take the initiative to offset drug use among the youth by providing mandatory classes on the dangers of drug use but still the problem remains. Ultimately, the only thing that seems to curtail drug use and alcoholism is early intervention by parents who are not only there for their kids but who care enough to talk to them about the dangers behind drug and alcohol abuse. There will eventually come a point in a child’s life when what their parents say to them won’t carry nearly as much weight. If we can even help just one child know not only the difference between right and wrong but also help them to have the confidence and strength of character to refuse drugs and alcohol when offered, then we will truly be making headway. Until then, all we can do is continue to be shining examples of how mature adults should behave and hope for the best.