Families are at a high-time for battling drug abuse and peer pressure; with accessibility to prescription medications and illicit drugs on the streets, adolescents and family members as a whole are threatened with serious health risks and related concerns. Loved ones often experience a feeling of compromise when they bend a little to appease to friends and family – when asked for substances, family members may lean towards saying, “yes” because they don’t want to appear disagreeable or may otherwise attempt to keep peace in the family.
A publication by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) explains that a number of factors can take place within families, which makes them more susceptible for drug abuse and/or peer pressure:
- Feeling abandonment, anxiety, fear, anger, etc.
- Being asked to take on additional responsibilities can add pressure to family members
- Inconsistency in the family dynamic may make it easier for family members to use substances
- Denial that a family member is struggling with substances may only perpetuate the problem
Make zero-tolerance for substance abuse a strict value in your family.
HealthyChildren.org notes that it all starts with parents – preventative talks can help children in the family understand the dangerousness of abusing substances and explaining clear rules against drug use can help as well. Maintain open communication as much as possible and foster a healthy family dynamic. If family members feel their voice is heard, they’ll be less likely to turn to substances.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) notes that certain parenting skills – such as listening, following up with family members in the household, and holding one another accountable can greatly help maintain stability at home. If you’ve been battling substance abuse, speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights today – it’s never too late to take back control of your life.
Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of two 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers, and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first. For more information, call 1-800-646-9998 today.
A few years ago, a young lady shared her experience of peer pressure through DrugFree.org. She explained that growing up, her parent struggled with alcoholism – and between that and her parent’s divorce, she dealt with a lot of psychological turmoil. This young woman went on to explain that since she didn’t have the coping skills she really needed to get through some of the hardships she faced, she turned to her peers for validation. She stated,
“I wanted to fit in and feel better about myself…As a teenager who was already full of apprehension and anxiety, getting caught up and swept away by peer pressure was just another high.”
It’s not uncommon for teens and adolescents to go become vulnerable to peer pressure, especially as they are still trying to figure out who they are. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Adolescence noted that popularity in school can also influence teens to drink and abuse substances – especially if that means they will become “cool” or otherwise accepted. Since the teen brain is still developing during these stages of life, how can we as parents, educators and community members support our youth?
In 2018, the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry suggested a number of actions we can take:
- Teaching our teens to be more assertive in resisting dangerous activities
- Helping our youth develop more self-confidence, so they do not need to seek out this type of validation from their peers
- Encouraging open and honest communication from our adolescents, so that future problems can be prevented
- Getting to know our children’s’ parents and friends
- Coming up with “back-up” plans for our teens if they’d like to get out of risky situations
If you have a teen who is showing signs of substance abuse, ensure they seek the help they need, right now. Recovery is right around the corner, and it could change the outlook on the rest of their lives.
Adolescent Recovery of Cumberland Heights (ARCH) originally began in 1985 when there were few other adolescent programs like it in the country. In 2019, we’re expanding our continuum of services with ARCH Academy, a unique program that offers 60 days to 6 months of residential care to adolescent boys ages 14-18 who are struggling with alcohol and/or drug addiction. This new program stems from Cumberland Heights, which has been around since 1966, and is located in Kingston Springs, Tennessee. The adolescent age is a critical time for development, making this a crucial time of positive influence. For more information, call us today at 1-800-646-9998.