Long Answer Question
Do you think that friends can influence one to take alcohol/drugs? If yes, how may one protect himself/herself from such an influence?
Yes, friends can influence one to take alcohol/ drugs.
One can protect oneself from such influence by the following ways:
i. Counseling: Seek counseling to deal with mental illness or traumas experienced. One can also attend support groups, read self – help books, and seek advice from a therapist. There are many specific national helpline numbers that can also offer help.
ii. Support: Share your fears and problems with a reliable person like a teacher or a parent who can support you and help you. This will make it easier to avoid stress and the desire to adopt an addiction.
iii. Choose friends carefully: Peer pressure is one of the main causes of addictions amongst teenagers. Hence, it is best to avoid people who you know are addicted. Carefully choose your friend circle and who you decide to confide in.
iv. Avoid starting young: Those who start drinking or using drugs at an early age (even in small amounts) are most likely to develop an addiction later in life.
v. Be aware of the consequences of addictions: Stay aware of the effects of drug and alcohol addiction on your social, physical, and mental health and prevent adverse impact on yourself by refraining from it.
vi. Develop strong bonds: Social connections can help protect you against the risk of substance use.
vii. Participate in anti-drug, tobacco, and alcohol programs: Early interventions can help a person. If you have adopted a bad habit, or feel you are on the path of addiction, admit the problem and seek timely help to prevent it from turning into an addiction.