Peer Pressure: The Poison in Friendships


Eunice Ahn

Drugs are really harmful, and we should all try our best to avoid doing drugs.

Eunice Ahn, Photojournalist

Red Ribbon week was in October 23 to October 31, and it was a great opportunity to remember the dangers of drug abuse and how much it can negatively affect lives. Yet, many are still victims of drug use. Maybe some people could have started out of curiosity, but many also could have gotten hooked onto drugs due to peer pressure. So the question is: how can we break free from peer pressure?


Not all peer pressure is bad if friends are encouraging someone to step out of his or her comfort zone and do something safe. But, peer pressure gets really bad when friends force the person to do something that can harm him or her or other people. There should be this boundary regarding what is right and what is wrong, we are not that clueless to not know the differences. By this age, everyone should know that when a friend suggests to do something harmful, such as the use of drugs, it should be refused. However, many people who have fallen under peer pressure all have that same thought process, “I do not want to be left out or hated by everyone, I should change for them.” If there is such a thought process, those friends are not the right people to be around.


Friends are a huge part of our lives, and many of us want to be part of a group. We are too scared to be different from them and want to be like them. It is best to avoid friends that can affect other people negatively. Besides, there are so many new people you can meet. Just because you leave that friend group does not mean that you are alone. There are people you can meet who will like you just the way you are.


Another effective way to deal with peer pressure is knowing when to say no. This generation likes to say “maybe next time” and we do not know when to say no. If friends are pressuring you to do something that is not right, do not be scared and firmly say no. It is best to draw a line sooner than prolong it until it is too hard to say no. If you are too scared or lack confidence to say no, try to build up self confidence by talking to adult staff for help.


There are many more ways to deal with peer pressure, and peer pressure is also not limited to drugs. Peer pressure happens, and it’s hard to avoid it. Isabella Smith (9) said, “I feel like everybody has fallen for peer pressure, and it is okay to fall for it if it is safe, but try not to fall for it if it is not safe.” Stay safe, and make good decisions Mustangs!