Have you ever felt the effects of peer pressure? If you answered no to this question you obviously have lived on an island your entire life without ever having had human interaction! As a counselor for both in class and online drug awareness classes, I often discuss the nature and power of peer pressure with my students.
This article will examine peer pressure from the point of view of my minor in possession (PIP) students only. There will be a subsequent article where my students over the age of 21 reminisce on peer pressure.
How Common and Powerful is Peer Pressure
There certainly are other reasons adolescents drink, but peer pressure and becoming more uninhibited are the primary motivating factors. Very few tens and college students, as a percentage of all drinkers in their age group, are addicted to alcohol.
Let’s face it – peer pressure is a primary motivating factor for basically all social activity for middle school, high school and college students! Despite the fact you do not read too much about it, that is a fact.
Hey – slap in the face – this goes for both minors and parents alike – peer pressure is there and it can be very influential!!
As a teen and college student, of course I was aware of peer pressure. We all have felt it in one way or another. Whether we act upon it, trying to make ourselves worthy in our peers’ eyes in one thing, or given in entirely, the pressure is there. Few of us can avoid succumbing to it entirely.
Brad is a 12-year-old six grade student. He is one of my youngest students, but certainly not my youngest. Brad and some of his friends had taken a six-pack of Budweiser from his parents’ refrigerator.
Brad and his three friends walked to the local elementary school and drank the beer in a fort. At first all three were quite furtive, hiding in the stairwell or up in the fort. After a few beers each, however, the boys became more brazen – and of course nature took its course. Brad was urinating down the slide when a police officer spotted him. He and his friends were all arrested and taken to juvenile hall. None had been there before.
All four boys were charged only with minor in possession (MIP) violations. Brad felt badly about what happened and swears it will never happen again. What do you think? Will Brad ever have another problematic incident where alcohol is involved?
Anthuan is a 17-year-old high school senior who has received two MIP violations already. He also was the passenger in a vehicle where the underage driver was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI).
Unlike Brad, Anthuan is not sorry about his alcohol use, or his run-in with the law. He feels like he has done nothing wrong. He hated being in my class and said it was a total waste of his time. He promised me he will be back in my class the next time he is busted. What do you think - will he be another victim of recidivism?
Remember that alcohol is both a drug and a poison. If you or someone you care about is addicted to alcohol, please seek help immediately. If you prefer to maintain total anonymity there are online alcohol classes as well.