What is meant by Peer Pressure?
The idea is that young people will not really want to take drugs but that their friends and people around them will put pressure on them to do so by excluding them from their group, making fun of them etc. Whilst this may sometimes happen research has shown that it is not nearly as common as most people think. Most young people use drugs because they have decided that they want to even if they are influenced by what people around them think and do.
There is also ‘peer pressure’ not to use drugs, or certainly not to use certain drugs in certain ways. Every peer group has rules about what is acceptable and not acceptable and these rules are usually protective of the members of the group.
Using terms like peer pressure does not really explain what young people get out of drug use and why they use drugs as they do.