‘Peer pressure’ is a common and constant theme in the advice given to young people, particularly during your school years, as this is when you’ll most likely be exposed to group situations that involve drugs and alcohol.

You may also be feeling pressure from family or cultural expectations and traditions.

The desire to fit in with a group or the desire to portray a certain image of yourself can be incredibly powerful. The strength of this desire can influence your decisions and actions – you might find yourself doing or saying something that doesn’t truly reflect how you feel.

saying ‘no’. It sounds simple enough, but it’s easier said than done

Hanging out with people who share your interests is important – if you’re all on the same page, it’s less likely you’ll be pressured to partake in activities you’re unsure about. However, if you're around people who are drinking or taking drugs and you’re finding it difficult to avoid these situations without cutting yourself off from the group, then try your best to feel confident saying ‘no’. It sounds simple enough, but it’s easier said than done. In saying ‘no’, it’s important to remember not to pass judgement on the activities of others. If you respect their decisions, it’s likely they’ll be more inclined to respect yours.

If you’re experiencing any type of pressure to the point where you feel threatened or unsafe, you need to talk to someone who can support you – you don’t have to endure the situation alone. Call us on our 24 hour free and confidential YoDAA Line: 1800 458 685