Drug and Alcohol Prevention - Why Do Teenagers Choose to Drink and Do Drugs?

Drug and Alcohol Prevention - Why Do Teenagers Choose to Drink and Do Drugs?

During his career as a drug and alcohol prevention speaker, Joel Penton has seen first-hand how common substance abuse is in America's schools. But why is this the case? Why are so many middle school and high school students choosing to risk their health and their future to take up drinking or smoking?

Drug and Alcohol Prevention - Understanding the Reasons

 Drug and Alcohol Prevention - Understanding the ReasonsAs you may have guessed, there are lots of reasons why young people try drugs and alcohol. For many, peer pressure plays a huge role. When all of their friends are drinking beer or smoking cigarettes, it can be tough for them to "just say no." They fear that their refusal to participate in the same activities are their friends is likely to see them ostracized from the group. As such, they often decided to give in to keep their friendships intact.

The stress of daily life can also drive middle school and high school students to abuse drugs and alcohol. They can become overwhelmed by the trials and tribulations of puberty, the endless stream of exams, and the issues they may be facing at home. They then turn to marijuana, alcohol, and other drugs to provide them with an escape.

Of course, it is also worth noting that many young people try drugs and alcohol for no other reason than curiosity. Teenagers are inquisitive by nature, so the temptation to try a new thing can sometimes be too much to turn down.

An Actionable Approach to Drug and Alcohol Prevention

An Actionable Approach to Drug and Alcohol PreventionIn Joel's experience, the most effective drug and alcohol prevention strategies tend to be focused on addressing the reasons why young people choose to drink and smoke. To address the peer pressure issue, for instance, Joel works on building self-confidence with his assembly attendees. He believes that teaching students that they do not need to change their personality or beliefs to fit in with their friends can help them feel less pressured to smoke or drink.

For young people who have been driven to drugs or alcohol because of stress, Joel believes in the power of positivity. When middle school and high school students understand that their problems are temporary and better times are ahead, they will have less need to seek solace at the bottom of a vodka bottle.

Joel also believes that teaching young people how to make better decisions can help them to avoid the pitfalls of drugs and alcohol. In the case of the students who just want to try drinking or smoking because they are curious, improved decision-making skills will help them weigh the pros and cons of their actions before proceeding. If they choose to act logically, they will decide to abstain.

Joel would love to bring his drug and alcohol prevention assembly to your middle school or high school. For more information about Joel Penton, or how to book him for your next assembly, please contact us today! We will get back to you as soon as possible with some more information.


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