Find out how to prevent bullying and how bullying may be linked to substance abuse.
Research is beginning to show a disturbing trend in teen behavior. According to DrugFree.org, students who bully their classmates are more likely to use cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana compared to kids who don't bully others. These trends suggest a need to approach teen behavior from a broad perspective, focusing on substance abuse as well as peer interactions.
As a student, what does this mean to you?
Surround yourself with friends who make good choices. If you hang out with peers who abuse alcohol, drugs and cigarettes, you’re putting yourself at risk of being affected by the negative behaviors associated with substance abuse. Bullying can become a factor, as well as risks to your health and well-being.
Stand up for what you believe in. While it may not be easy, it’s important to stick to your beliefs. If you bend to bullies and peer pressure, you mark yourself as a target for those who will try to push drugs and alcohol on you, and try to control your behavior. Gravitate toward friends who share your beliefs. Ask your school to educate students about bullying and bullying prevention.
Talk to your teachers and parents. You can’t prevent bullying alone. The adults in your life are part of an important support system meant to protect you and keep you safe. If you’re witnessing bullying or you’ve been a victim of it, talk to a trusted adult. Don’t accept results like, “ignore it” or “fight back.” Keep pushing until you get the support you need to have a safe environment.