Peer Pressure and Social Expectations
The pressure to engage in the use of potentially addicting substances and behaviors is hard to avoid. Children and adolescents are not the only ones who experience social pressure. Adults also have to deal with temptations that might lead to addiction.
Weddings, bar mitzvahs, job-promotion parties, New Year's Eve celebrations, and even the innocuous birthday party can feel like land mines that have to be negotiated! A food addict may not get much understanding when he refuses a piece of his own birthday cake. How can a groom struggling with alcoholism say no to the traditional champagne toast at his wedding?
Saying no to these things is possible, but often comes with disapproving glances and comments from people whose approval and opinions matter. Individuals who do not struggle with addictions may have a hard time understanding why total abstinence may be necessary for recovery.
What is an “alcopop”?
An alcopop is a premixed fruity drink made with alcoholic beverages and fruit juices. “Hard” lemonade and wine coolers made with various fruit juices are examples of alcopops. A person can easily deceive herself into thinking these drinks are nonaddictive because of the juice ingredient, and because they are often packaged to look like soda pop or other nonalcoholic drinks. However, if enough is consumed, they can still be addictive.
Social pressure or peer pressure appeals to one's desire to fit in with others, to experience acceptance and approval. There is nothing inherently wrong with this. Human beings are primarily social creatures and are born with a drive to connect with other human beings. It is very satisfying to know that one is pleasing and acceptable to significant individuals in one's life. However, when that desire for social belonging is paired with pressure to use addictive substances or engage in addictive behaviors, things get tough.