Peer pressure has always been a problem among children, teenagers, and adults. What is seen is usually copied. Either through choice or peer pressure. This peer pressure is one of the significant contributors to underage drinking and the beginnings of alcoholism. With an overwhelming desire to “fit in,” teenagers easily fall into peer pressure and alcoholism.
Peer Pressure and Friends
The need to be liked in today’s society is a large portion of what makes young teenagers react the way they do. Even in young adults, the desire to look cool to their peers or the opposite sex can drive them to do things they usually would not. Peer pressure among friends is much stronger than pressure from strangers and family. Family influence can be quickly overruled when it comes to friends pressuring each other to do something. Today’s generation needs to differentiate themselves from their parents. Thus, peer pressure is much more dangerous.
Peer Pressure Alcoholism Problems
A 2001 survey showed that up to 40% of Canada’s tenth-grade students had taken a drink of alcohol in the previous year. Many of these teens drank even younger than their ninth-grade year. This was shown to be because of peer pressure from friends or influences in the movie and music industries. Not succumbing to peer pressure brings along several problems.
One of the biggest reasons teens begin to drink at a young age is the verbal abuse they take when they refuse. Being pressured at a party, at a friend’s home, or even sneaking alcohol out of their own home, is what many teens face weekly. Their friends berate those that hold out and refuse. Eventually, they succumb to the pressure.
Following verbal abuse is physical beatings. When friends react violently towards each other because they do not participate in the same activities, there is already a problem with addictive behavior.
Rising Teen Pregnancies
A problem that can be attributed to peer pressure is the rising rate of teen pregnancies. Not only are young people pressured to drink alcohol, but are then entering into a larger world of drugs and unprotected sex. If they can be pressured into one thing, the pressuring does not cease.
Peer Pressure Signs
There are two significant types of peer pressure that teens undergo today. The first is through active peer pressure, where the person is invited to drink, invited to a party, asked to participate in the “cool” drinking games, or just to hang out. Another form is passive pressure. This is the direct link between wanting to fit in and being alone. Knowing the signs that teenage show will help to determine the risk of peer pressure alcoholism and prevent it. Some signs are hesitancy to go to school, reclusive behavior, sudden change in friends, wanting to have more money, or staying out later than they should. Treatment programs for alcohol addiction in Canada can help you cope better with peer pressure and life in general.