Drug and Alcohol Use
There can be a lot of pressure during your teenage and early-adult years to use drugs and alcohol. The pressure is beginning to affect children at younger ages and the pressure can seem overwhelming if you are not prepared for it. Before you make the decision to use drugs or alcohol, there are many things you should be aware of long before you are faced with the decision.
First, there are no benefits from the use of drugs and alcohol. In the heat of the moment, it may seem like you will become more popular if you agree to drink, smoke, or use one of the many different kinds of drugs, but this is one of the most dangerous falsehoods that the world would have you believe right now. Even if people around you seem to hold you in higher regard for making this poor decision, that seeming popularity is not a benefit, because more harm will come to you through the use of drugs than good will come from the popularity.
Second, the list of negative consequences for choosing to use drugs and alcohol is almost literally endless. There are so many things out there which are addictive. Once these things have ensnared you, it can seem impossible to break free from their influence. Wouldn’t it be so much easier to never have to deal with that in the first place? In addition, there are many drugs which can kill you the first time you use them. No kind of high is worth that risk. You may think that those who encourage you to not use drugs and alcohol are blowing the risks and the negative effects out of proportion, but they are not. The people who really care about you are worried that if you do use these things you could become addicted, you could be harmed by someone else while you are under a drug’s influence, you could be permanently scarred by a drug’s effect, you could throw your future away by getting caught making a poor decision one time, you could get enslaved in a life of drug abuse—the list goes on and on.
Third, the truth is that no one who really cares about you (or who is, in turn, someone whose good opinion you should care for) will ask you to put yourself in harm’s way; and the use of any of the various forms of drugs and alcohol would be doing exactly that. Ask yourself honestly what the motives are of people on both sides of this equation: Why do the people who want you to use drugs really care whether you use them or not? vs. Why do influential people in your life really not want you to use drugs or alcohol? If you are honest with yourself about the motives on each side, you will see every time that those whose motives are most pure are those encouraging you to not use drugs or alcohol.
Fourth, nobody is responsible for your decisions but you. You should take pride in making your own decisions, but with the freedom to choose for yourself comes a great deal of responsibility. Don’t get tricked into thinking that now you have more freedom to choose, the rules and guidelines your parents have given you are restrictive and limiting. Using the reasoning that “I’m going to do it just because my parents told me not to” is just as poor of a reason as “I’m going to do it because everybody else is doing it.” You will have to accept the consequences of your own actions, for better or worse, so make sure you think your choices through.
Fifth, peer pressure can be incredibly hard to overcome. That is, unless you have already made your decision long before the choice is put in front of you. If you have put yourself in these situations mentally long before they actually present themselves, then you can objectively see both sides of the issue and make a much more clear-headed decision than if you are just thrown into the mix of things. If you make the decision when you are young that you do not want to ever use drugs or alcohol then it won’t even be a temptation when you are invited to participate. You don’t have to be haughty about it, you can just state very clearly, with no hesitation, that the lifestyle which comes along with that decision is not for you. People will respect your decision and your strength.
Sixth, your decisions affect those closest to you. Millions of parents have heard their children say at some point, “It’s my life, and I’ll do what I want to. It’s not affecting you.” Even the children, and occassionally adults, who use this excuse surely know it isn’t true. Your decisions do affect your parents, your siblings, your grandparents, and your good friends. This is because they care about you. If you are making decisions in your life that they can see will lead to pain for you, they will share that pain as well. People who are bound together by love feel each other’s joys and sorrows. Don’t be so selfish to think that you don’t matter to anyone. You matter to far more people than you know.
These are just a few of the things which you should give a great deal of consideration before you decide to use drugs or alcohol. There are so many reasons to not bring these things into your life and simply no reasons to think it will bring you any happiness. Don’t let other people fool you into thinking that it’s not a big deal, because it is a big deal. This is a decision which could literally rule the rest of your life. Know that you are worth more than throwing away your potential for a short-lived high.