Judith Welles Cousins: Hi, I am Judy Cousins and I am clinical social worker and today what I am talking about is how to recognize alcohol and drug use in teens and what I want to talk about right now is to talk about the factors that are involved in alcohol use and drug use in teens.
Host: What can influence a teen to drink?
Judith Welles Cousins: There are a number of influences on teenage drug and alcohol use. What is, what everyone kind of thinks about right away which is peer groups and peer pressure or a peer influence. I like to really think of it more in terms of peer influence. It's true for adults as well and where with a group of people that are drinking or using drugs are much more likely to drink and use ourselves. So that's one factor. Another factor is at home and at school, what anyone outside of school even in social situations, what kind of supervision is that teen getting? There is really a very direct relationship between a reasonable amount of supervision and a reasonable amount of monitoring of what teens are doing and where they are going and who they are seeing in increase in drug and alcohol use. So that's an important of factor as well.
Another important factor is, what are the expectations, both in the family and in the culture and in the society and in the peer group. If they are opposite, what are the expectations of alcohol and drug use? Meaning, if there is a positive expectation that, that alcohol use or that drug use is going to have a positive effect, is going to be pleasurable, is going to get that teenager what that teenager want then they are much more likely to use. On the other hand, if there is a disapproval or if there is a sense that alcohol and drug use is not a good thing, is not positive, negative things will happen if you use and that teenager is less likely to use. So those are some of the important influences. 1