Reasons Why Teens Experiment with Alcohol and Drugs

Being a teenager can be a tough job; there are a lot of changes taking place physically and emotionally, and there are a lot of outside pressures to deal with. For parents, encouraging open lines of communication early on is a great way to show kids that they can come to their parents about any of their concerns of questions.

When it comes to alcohol and drugs, many children are being exposed very early in life. A large number of pre-teens and teenagers will decide to experiment with substances, for a wide range of reasons.

To better understand what is happening when young people decide to accept alcohol or drugs, the following are some of the main reasons why teens experiment with alcohol and drugs.

Related article: How to Talk to Your Kids About Drugs | Pre-Teens | Teenagers

Peer Pressure

It’s not always easy for a child to stand their ground against peer pressure. Sometimes, it’s easier just to give in a couple of times to keep the bullies at bay.

Peer pressure has a devilish way of forcing people to do things they don’t want to, and drugs and alcohol are no exception. Sometimes it’s one specific person, other times it’s a larger group. For parents, it’s important to keep in mind that not every child wants to do something in the first place, and educating them about how to say no might be helpful.

Fitting In

One of the reasons why teens experiment with alcohol and drugs has nothing to do with actual interest in experimenting; in fact, it’s solely for the purpose of fitting in.

Whether it’s a way to get in with the cool kids or to impress a specific individual, fitting in is often a high priority for pre-teens and teenagers. If it means trying substances to gain some status, then it might be worth it for them.


With all of the pressures that come with being a teenager, some individuals might find that alcohol or drugs offer them feelings of relaxation or relief. This could be relief from bad grades, pressures from parents, a bad break-up or losing a big game.

This is a very dangerous road to go down; parents should look for signs of substance use and offer as much support as possible.


Young adults who are feeling rebellious might decide to use drugs or alcohol to punish themselves, their parents, or other authoritative figures. The reasons are seemingly endless, but it’s often the case that they do it for attention or to establish their independence.

Teens will choose different substances based on their personality, but substances such as alcohol and methamphetamine are most popular for those who seek to feel more free and aggressive.

Lack of Confidence

A lot of substances can create feelings of self-confidence, such as alcohol. One of the reasons why teens experiment with alcohol and drugs is to become more outgoing, social and brave, which are often favored traits.


There are all kinds of reasons for kids to try drugs and alcohol; some key factors can be home environments, fellow students and even genes. To help your children avoid a life of alcohol or drug abuse, try to educate them early on in life about the dangers of substance use; being available to talk and answer questions without judgement may be key to healthier choices.

Call Inspire Change Addiction Rehab in Vancouver for addiction treatment programs.

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