Imagine you are hanging out with your best friend – the friend you have known the longest, the friend you cherish the most, the friend that will always lead you on the right path. Now imagine that this friend of yours has a Molly (MDMA) tablet and you’re not quite sure what it is or what the side effects are. Imagine if your friend convinces you to split the tablet with her.
Come on it’ll be fun. Trust me, I’ve done it before. It’s safe, I promise.
So you take the tablet, not because you wanted to but because your friends influence you. According to the University of Michigan study, “Peer influences have been found to be among the strongest predictors of drug use during adolescence. It has been argued that peers initiate youth into drugs, provide drugs, model drug-using behaviors, and shape attitudes about drugs”.
According to Developmental Psychology volume 22, “Two samples, consisting of a total of 1,027 6th–12th graders from separate communities, were given measures of peer conformity dispositions (willingness to accede to peer pressure), perceptions of peer pressure, and self-reported frequency of behavior concerning two major aspects of teenage life: peer involvement (degree of socializing with friends) and misconduct (drug/alcohol use, sexual intercourse, and minor delinquent behavior).”
Results from the study indicated that teens perceived less peer pressure toward misconduct than peer involvement and also were comparatively less willing to follow peers in misconduct.
Many teens may experiment with drugs in their youth and most teenagers never imagine they could become addicted. If you are concerned about your child using drugs, the best weapon you have as a parent is to talk to them. Monitor who your child hangs out with and intervene if you believe they are spending time with someone who is a bad influence. Call us at Inspirations for Youth and Families at (888) 757-6237 if you need tips on how to talk to your child about drug use.