Peer pressure is often a common event in young people’s lives that can lead to behaviors and actions that are unfavorable. Peer pressure eventually can ripple into adulthood as the social influences of groups continue to offer pathways, good or bad. There are instances where peer pressure can offer positive influence as in groups where healthy living is a staple and substance abuse is frowned upon.

Risky behavior is often associated with peer pressure. Drugs, alcohol, criminal acts, and unsafe sex plague those who give into the negative social groups. Outside of the social groups, the behaviors domino into more consequences. For young adults, issues surrounding school can fester with delinquency which causes more unfavorable behaviors as their future slips aways. When drug use is involved, dabbling in drugs for young people can often lead to a lifelong battle with addiction. Legal issues, mental, and physical problems can also spring forth from peer pressure to participate in substance abuse. Other dangers or potential consequences of peer pressure include:

  • Recklessness: This includes in everyday life with commitments and being under the influence when driving which can cost people their lives. For those who participate in social drinking and then are reckless enough to drive while still intoxicated, they can get into a car accident or get a DUI which leads to further issues.
  • Social issues: Unfortunately bullying can happen in groups that use peer pressure as a means to control others. Those who do not conform can often be outcasted, put down, and socially tormented. For any age group this can cause feelings of loneliness and lead to low self-esteem but especially among teens.
  • Overall loss of direction: Wrong time, wrong place, wrong people, can lead to wrong direction in life that affects every single aspect of it. Work, love, family, future opportunities, you name it – giving into negative peer pressure can set someone up for a lifetime of struggle.

As National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW) approaches, it is important to recognize the part peer pressure have in substance abuse. It is equally important to spread knowledge around healthy coping mechanisms and the use of boundaries. Being assertive and setting boundaries is easier said than done, especially for the younger generation but it can be modeled by the adults around them. Parents, teachers, healthcare providers, and even high-school sport coaches can influence healthy development. Young adults need adult figures that are safe people that can help reinforce their positive choices and help them build up self-esteem so that when peer pressure comes knocking, they know what to do!

You do not have to face peer pressure alone and Scottsdale Recovery and Detox Center® has built a team of champions to help support your health. SRC® has been Arizona’s premier addiction center for over a decade and we offer support in all forms to our clients, community, and those who are struggling. If you or a loved one need support please connect with our team by visiting or call 1-888-NODRUGS

Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center® holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2009. Call 602-346-9142.