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Drugs: Peer pressure or not?

Which of these situations show peer pressure, and which ones don't?

If you think the scenario is an example of peer pressure, select ‘True’. If you don’t think the scenario is an example of peer pressure, select ‘False’.

true or false
One of your classmates comes up to you after a lesson and says they saw you got low score on the last test. They show you a pill and tell you it’s great for improving concentration so can help you get better grades. After all, they say, you’ll never be able to get into college with the grades you’re getting at the moment.
TRUE FALSE
Correct, this is an example of peer pressure. Your classmate is using your current grades to make you feel pressured into taking drugs. This is very dangerous as you don’t know what the drug is or how it will affect your brain and body in the short and long term. If you really want your grades to improve, talk to your teachers about how they can support you to reach your potential, and then work hard.
Incorrect, this is an example of peer pressure. Your classmate is using your current grades to make you feel pressured into taking drugs. This is very dangerous as you don’t know what the drug is or how it will affect your brain and body in the short and long term. If you really want your grades to improve, talk to your teachers about how they can support you to reach your potential, and then work hard.
true or false
You’re at a house party with friends when you notice some students from the year above calling you and your friends over. They show you some white powder and tell you the party will be even better if you try it. A couple of your friends go into a nearby bathroom, leaving you alone with one of the older boys who is encouraging you to follow your friends.
TRUE FALSE
Correct, this is an example of peer pressure. In this scenario there are two examples of peer pressure. The first involves the students from the year above saying how much better the party will be if you take the white powder. The second is your two friends who have already made the decision to take the drugs, leaving just you to decide. You may not like feeling left out, but you don’t know what the drug is or the impact it will have on you, so the best thing to do is be brave and walk away.
Incorrect, this is an example of peer pressure. In this scenario there are two examples of peer pressure. The first involves the students from the year above saying how much better the party will be if you take the white powder. The second is your two friends who have already made the decision to take the drugs, leaving just you to decide. You may not like feeling left out, but you don’t know what the drug is or the impact it will have on you, so the best thing to do is be brave and walk away.
true or false
You and your friends are talking about growing up and heading off to university in the future. One of your friends says his brother has been encouraged to take drugs on nights out at uni with his friends. Another of your friends admits to trying drugs, and says how much they regretted it. You continue to discuss drugs, with some of your friends saying they might be tempted whilst others say they’ll never try them because they can have really harmful side effects and it’s not worth the risk.
TRUE FALSE
Incorrect, this isn't an example of peer pressure. This is an open and honest discussion between friends about drugs and how you might be tempted to take them as you get older. No-one is pressuring anyone else to try drugs, and the friend who admitted trying them was honest enough to admit it was a mistake which they regretted.
Correct, this isn't an example of peer pressure. This is an open and honest discussion between friends about drugs and how you might be tempted to take them as you get older. No-one is pressuring anyone else to try drugs, and the friend who admitted trying them was honest enough to admit it was a mistake which they regretted.
true or false
A friend is round your house and wants you to get some of the tablets they’ve just seen in the medicine cupboard in the bathroom. They say that your parents will never know and if you don’t, they’ll spread it all around the school that you were too scared to get them.
TRUE FALSE
Correct, this is an example of peer pressure. This is a clear example of you being pressurized into doing something with the threat of a hurtful comment being spread about you if you don’t. It puts you in a very difficult situation as you risk getting into trouble with your parents or having a difficult time with your friends. Remember though, you don’t know how these drugs might affect you and as they are prescription drugs, they have been prescribed for a specific person to use to treat a specific health condition.
Incorrect, this is an example of peer pressure. This is a clear example of you being pressurized into doing something with the threat of a hurtful comment being spread about you if you don’t. It puts you in a very difficult situation as you risk getting into trouble with your parents or having a difficult time with your friends. Remember, you don’t know how these drugs might affect you and as they are prescription drugs, they have been prescribed for a specific person to use to treat a specific health condition.
true or false
A boy/girl you really like from the year above has suggested that you go to the back field on your lunch break and get high together. They say it will prove how much you really do like them if you come along. You do like them and don’t want to embarrass yourself, but at the same time, you don’t want to take drugs, especially at school.
TRUE FALSE
Correct, this is an example of peer pressure. You’re in a difficult position, because you really like this person and don’t want to ruin your chances with them, but you don’t want to take drugs either. It’s important to think about whether someone who regularly gets high and pressurizes others into doing so is someone you really want to be with. How interested are they really if they want you to take drugs to prove you like them?
Incorrect, this is an example of peer pressure. You’re in a difficult position, because you really like this person and don’t want to ruin your chances with them, but you don’t want to take drugs either. It’s important to think about whether someone who regularly gets high and pressurizes others into doing so as well is someone you want to be with. How interested are they really if they want you to take drugs to prove you like them?

How to get help

Did you know there’s a confidential text service called Chat Health for getting in touch with a public health nurse (school nurse)? The box at the bottom of the page, ‘Find Help in Your Local Area’, will show you if it’s available where you live. You can also find out more here:

Cross Hatch

take action

Scenario One:

Whether you’re looking to improve your grades at school or not, drugs are not the way forward. Taking drugs on a regular basis can negatively affect your brain and how you function. That means that rather than improving your performance as your friend suggests, you could actually see your grades fall.

If you want to get better marks at school, talk to your teachers and ask if they can help you with revision techniques, tell you about any extra classes at lunchtimes and give you copies of past papers to help you practice for your exams.

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Scenario Two:

Taking any drug can be dangerous, but in this situation you have no idea what the white powder is or how it will affect you.

Drugs can affect everyone differently, so whilst your friends might be fine after taking a particular drug, you could have a very serious reaction and become very ill. The best thing to do in a situation like this is to have the courage to walk away.

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Scenario Three:

It’s important to have open and honest discussions with your friends around subjects like drugs. In this way, you hear about other people’s experiences and how they felt. You need to make your own decisions though.

In this example, you’re getting an early warning that you might be encouraged to take drugs when you’re at uni or college. Take the opportunity to find out more now so you can be prepared and can make the right decision if and when a similar situation arises.

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Scenario Four:

Taking prescription drugs that are intended for someone else can be just as dangerous as taking illegal drugs. The risk of accidental overdose is higher because there’s a much higher chance of you taking a larger than recommended dose. Prescription drugs and medicines are given to treat a specific illness or injury, and should only be taken for this purpose.

If you’re worried about a friend who you think has a drug problem, get friendly and confidential advice on what to do from the Talk to Frank website.

Find help in your local area

Find out what services are available to you in your area. Remember your school nurse is always there to give you confidential help and support.