Why Your Peers Aren’t Using

In our focus groups, we asked teens for the reasons they choose not to use substances.

The top response? The negative impact substance use could have on their ability to go to college, get a job, or pursue activities such as sports. Participants feared missing out on great opportunities because of substance use.

Other concerns included:

  • The risk of getting caught, by both parents/guardians and other trusted adults. Teens worried that their substance use could change their relationships with the adults in their lives, and not for the better.
  • The physical implications, such as the destruction of the liver or even the possibility of fatal consequences due to substance use.
  • The social implications, of looking “stupid” while impaired.

No matter what the reason, staying away from substance use is always a good idea.

“A lot of kids will think it’s helpful, or think that what they’re doing, there is nothing wrong with it, or that nothing is going to affect them in the long term. But, I don’t think they realize that it will.”