Why do people begin to use alcohol or drugs?
People often begin to use alcohol or drugs because of social pressure. Boys and men may face pressure to drink or use other common drugs to prove their manhood. A man may believe that the more he drinks, or the more drugs he uses, the more manly he is. Some people also use alcohol and drugs because they like how they make them feel.
Many girls and women are also beginning to face social pressure to start drinking or using drugs. They may feel that they will appear more grown-up or more modern. Or they may think they will be accepted more easily by others.
Companies that make and sell alcohol and drugs use social pressure, too. Advertisements that make using drugs and alcohol look glamorous, especially to young people, encourage people to buy them. Some advertisements, music, and movies encourage young people to drink and use drugs. And when companies that make alcohol, or places that sell alcohol, make it seem easy and even fun to buy, people want to buy more. This kind of pressure is especially harmful, because often people are not aware it is affecting them.