Get involved in a sport or clubA study from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse found that one of the main risk factors for teen drug use is boredom. (USA Today) So to avoid the type of boredom that could lead to experimenting with drugs, teens should get involved in a sport, club, or other extracurricular activity. Joining this type of activity may also give teens a support network of teammates and friends who do not use drugs.
Set future goalsTeens should establish a set of concrete goals for their future—such as wanting to get into a certain college or wanting to make the varsity tennis team by senior year. Having specific goals can help teens see how drug use could get in the way of the things they want to accomplish.
Have a positive role model who avoided peer pressureBy identifying a positive role model, such as an older sibling, a teacher, or a coach, teens can learn to adopt positive behaviors. Having a role model can also help with goal setting; for example, if a teen has a great teacher, they might be inspired to become a great teacher themselves and know that they need to avoid abusing drugs to do so.
Find friends who don’t use drugsIf teens find that they’re constantly surrounded by friends who use drugs and feel that the temptation is too strong, it may be time for them to find friends who don’t use drugs. This is never an easy thing to do; it may make teens feel like they’re “abandoning” people they’ve been friends with for years, but the most effective way to avoid peer pressure is to remove yourself from the most pressure-filled situations.
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