Peer Pressure Can Actually Keep Teens From Doing Drugs

shots teen drinking peer pressureWhile parents worry all the time about how peer pressure may push their kids to dabble in drugs and alcohol, here's some good news for a change: A new study has shown that kids are less likely to do drugs if their friends have been counseled against it.

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To come to these conclusions, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro followed 5,449 sixth graders who didn't participate in a seven-week substance abuse counseling offered at their schools for kids and parents.

Three years later in ninth grade, researchers found that even without drug counseling, students were 40 percent less likely to get drunk and half as likely to smoke if they had at least three friends who did participate in the program.

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I'm not sure if it's nice to know friends hold such sway over our kids or not. Of course, it'd be nice to think that kids would listen to us, but who am I kidding?

So given peer pressure reigns supreme, isn't it nice to see that at least it works in a positive direction? In other words, well-behaved friends rub off in a good way on your kids, so if you've got some good eggs in the bunch, sink your claws into them and keep them around!

And in case you're thinking "my kids don't do drugs," here's a wake-up call: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one third of U.S. high school students drink. And nearly nine in ten smokers tried their first cigarette by the age of 18.

So let's not kid ourselves: Kids are impressionable, and curious, and are gonna do crap that will give us heart attacks. And while we can't see and control everything, it's good to know that at least they listen to someone ... and let's just hope it's that nerdy, straight-and-narrow pal.

 

Image via Alexey Lysenko/shutterstock

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