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Chapter 4. Psychological Factors: Part 4

Florida Drug and Alcohol Test (TLSAE) Course: Chapter 4. Psychological Factors

4.4. Positive and Negative Coping Skills


Section 4.4. Positive and Negative Coping Skills

  • I want to be accepted by my friends.

  • I want to be part of the clique!

  • I want to fit in and be part of the "in crowd."

Today, most teenagers desperately want to feel included by their peers. Peer pressure is the number one problem in most teenagers' lives. They may think that drugs and alcohol offer acceptance, fun, adventure, and true friendships which, of course, is not true.

PEER PRESSURE IS A SIGNIFICANT FACTOR IN DRUG AND ALCOHOL USE

Anyone can start misusing drugs or alcohol. Everyone needs to be aware of situations where they might be tempted to take drugs or drink alcohol. Remember, no matter how much willpower a person has, it is all too easy to become addicted to drugs or alcohol.

Alcohol use is often a form of "self-medication," a means to soften the impact of unwanted change and feelings such as to manage anger, boredom, rage, loneliness, frustration, tension, anxiety, feelings of emptiness or to instill a sense of omnipotence or grandeur, sadness, social awkwardness, and sexual inhibitions and depression.

Let's face it: Drugs make people feel good - temporarily. Just experimenting with a drug can make a person want to try it again and again. They might find that taking a particular drug helps them to face a difficult situation. After a while, they need the drug to face that situation every time and end up taking the drug more often. By the time the person realizes that they're using a drug or alcohol more and more, they are already becoming dependent on it. When they are unhappy, stressed, or lonely - as everyone is at times -they are more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol to forget their problems. If you hang out with people who use drugs or alcohol, you probably will too.

"Oh, how I need a drink!"

Many adults say that at one time or another. Alcohol is a drug, but it lacks the stigma of other drugs. As with all drugs, there is an element of escapism: "I can't take it anymore!" "Get me to the bar" "I am feeling no pain now!" By using alcohol to medicate the stress of day-to-day life, one could wind up depending on it to cope with many negative situations, spiraling downward and only worsening the overall situation.

Stop and think about it! You may escape for the moment, but sooner or later you are going to have to face the music. After the "high" the problem is still waiting to be solved. By prolonging the issue you're only going to make it worse.



Some people become so dependent on alcohol that they need a drink to get to sleep, then a pill to get up or stay awake,another to remain calm, etc.

Be yourself! A true friend accepts you for who you are and not what they want you to be. Be an individual who makes your own decisions and follows your own rules instead of giving in to peer pressure.

Believe it or not, your parents, grandparents and older brothers and sisters have gone through the same experiences you are going through now. Ask for advice.

(TheAntiDrug: http://www.theantidrug.com/advice/teens-today/navigating-the-teen-years/pressures-on-teens.aspx)

(Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association: http://www.fadaa.org/services/resource_center/resources/JTF/parents.asp)

The Truth About Being a Teenage Girl

You are trying to be an individual, your own person. You're happy one minute and in major trauma the next. It's definitely a tough time. Your parents want to protect you. Your friends want to influence you. You're still trying to decide what you want.

So many choices! And to top it off, there's pressure about alcohol and drugs. Sure, giving in to pressure is easier than taking a stand. This is the first time in your life that you get to make your own decisions and be your own woman. And what's the first choice so many girls make? To try to fit in with the crowd. This could be a mistake.

Somewhere between the brain, heart and mouth, a girl's individuality can get lost. Maybe it's swallowed with that first sip of beer. Be an individual. You don't need alcohol or drugs to be amazing.

Popularity Puzzle   It may seem like you have to drink or take drugs to be popular, but think
about it. Drinking gives you bad breath, makes your face puffy and your
stomach bloated, and gives you zits. How's that going to get you a date or
make people like you? In addition to all that, alcohol is loaded with empty
calories.
     
Body Stuff   Alcohol and drugs can seriously mess with your body. Too much alcohol
can cause stomach ulcers. Girls can drink less than guys, over less
time, and still have more serious damage to their internal organs.
     
Guys   Maybe you're shy and think alcohol or drugs will make you more popular.
Or maybe you think a good time means drinking or taking drugs. But
alcohol and drugs rob you of your ability to think and react.
When
you can't think clearly, it's easier for a guy to persuade you to have sex,
even when you don't really want to; you're also more vulnerable to sexual
assault because you can't fight back.
     
Fabulous Friends   Your friends aren't really friends if they pressure you to drink or take drugs.
It's illegal. It can make you sick. It can get you killed. If your ride is drinking
or taking drugs, pick up your cell phone. Don't get in a car with someone
who has been drinking or taking drugs.
You've got way
too much to accomplish in life.
     
Life in a Pressure Cooker   All the perfect models drinking in the alcohol ads are bogus. Drinking
doesn't solve problems, whether you are a supermodel or not. It usually
makes them worse. Girls have to work really hard to take control of their
lives. Control is the first thing you lose when you drink or take drugs.


(TheAntiDrug: http://www.theantidrug.com/pdfs/girls_and_drugs.pdf)

The Truth About Being a Teenage Guy

It doesn't matter where you live or how much money you have; every guy goes through the same teenage junk. Technology may change the world, but for some things time stands still. This may blow your mind, but your dad (and even his dad before him) had to wade through the same pitfalls to get to manhood.

You want to act like a man. You want to grow up and make the right choices. You want to attract the right people to you and you want to earn other people's respect. And you want to graduate from high school. It's a lot of pressure.

The pressure to drink alcohol and take drugs is just one more thing. But here's your chance to be a man. Don't bother with alcohol or drugs. Take a stand. You'll be surprised what independence can do for your image.

Hanging Out with the Guys   You want to hang out with your friends. Chances are that alcohol or drugs
will be around at some point. Sure, it's easier to take a beer than a stand.
But there's a lot riding on that drink. If they are real friends, they'll
accept your choice.
     
Girls   You may want to loosen up, but alcohol is NOT liquid courage. You could
end up making a fool of yourself and doing something you'll regret. Your
eyesight's blurry. Your judgment is blurry too. Drinking and taking drugs
won't make you more attractive.
Be yourself. If the girls don't respond,
it's their loss.
     
Power Play   You want to be in control. But when you wake up in a strange place and
don't remember how you got there, you're definitely not in control. Alcohol
and drugs rob you of your ability to think.
You don't know what you're
doing. You could wind up with AIDS, in a car crash or worse.
     
Buff Body   You're looking good now. But alcohol and drugs can do major damage to
your body. We're talking stomach problems, memory loss and liver
damage,to name a few.
That's not even counting all the empty, gut-causing
calories in alcohol.
Ever heard of a beer belly? Not attractive!
     
Stressing BIG time   It's tough being your age. There's serious pressure to do the right thing.
But it's your chance to be your own man. If you feel good about yourself,
other people will good about you too. Don't be pressured into drinking
or taking drugs. It doesn't solve your problems. It doesn't even postpone
them. Drinking and taking drugs just makes new problems - like that's
what you need.


(SurfNetParents: http://www.surfnetparents.com/common_worries_of_teenage_boys-3773.html)





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