Peer pressure is the main reason for first drug or alcohol uses in 99% of all addicts. People try to fit into specific social circles, so they follow the “local” trends and habits. While everyone tries to tell them that the consumption might become addictive, they simply fail to understand. They believe that they can quit whenever they feel like, yet they later realize that this is not always the case. All in all, people in specific circles encourage new recruits to do what they do, even if the effects are not too beneficial in the long run. With these thoughts in mind, it is obvious that peer pressure is the most harmful element of a substance abuse. This is when everything begins.
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You do not have to be a genius to realize that most teen drinkers or smokers are introduced to such habits by their entourage. As people get older, they learn how to develop their own opinions. They can make more informed decisions and they can properly make the difference between good and bad. Therefore, the effects of peer pressure tend to lessen overtime, yet they may still affect a lot of people. For instance, smoking is very likely to occur if you hang around a group of smokers.
The connection between peer pressure and social learning
Social learning has been intensively studied and becomes a reality in a lot of species. Your dog might get used to do what you do, just like a monkey. People do the same. From some points of view, this is good news. This means that people can learn from others that particular things are bad, without trying them on their own. However, if you see someone getting some rewards for doing something, you feel tempted to do the same too. Therefore, if peers seem to enjoy injecting drugs or drinking alcohol, you feel like emulating the respective behavior as well. Social learning might be helpful, but there are situations when it goes wrong.
The connection between peer pressure and social support
Peers are part of social support. There are no doubts about it. You reach to your peers for assistance, support and help. Peers might help you rediscover yourself and identify your role in the society. There are a few general functions you might be able to benefit from, including psychological support in tough times, information, physical help and feedback. As long as you use these functions in the right way, resisting your old entourage or temptations becomes a lot easier.