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Peer Pressure

Dear Dr. Expert, 

I was at my friend’s house on Friday night with some of her new friends, and we were all just hanging out, listening to some music. One of her friends took out a small folded up envelope and asked everyone if we wanted to try E. Almost everyone said yes! I couldn’t believe it! When it was my turn to take a pill I felt panicked.  I really didn’t want to take it.  I kept remembering this documentary we watched in health class about the dangers of a drug like E. I started to feel like a big loser. In the end, I pretended that I had to go to the bathroom and then pretended that my mom called and told me to come home. I could tell two of the girls didn’t believe me and they were kinda laughing when I left. I don’t feel like I dealt with the situation very well. What can I say if this happens again? 

Pressured in Prince George

Dr. Expert: Dear Pressured in Prince George, 

You were really brave in this situation! Many teens would have given in to the pressure and taken the pill.  So good for you sticking to what you believe. You were wise to listen to your gut. If something seems wrong or doesn’t feel right to you – then it probably isn’t. Situations like these are bound to happen again and again so practice now how you want to respond. Blaming it on your parents is actually a pretty good strategy as it allows you to save face with your friends (or at least try to). You can also work on just saying “no” or “I don’t feel like it” to your good friends and this should be enough. If they’re truly good friends, they’ll respect what you want.  You can always come up with one-liners to help such as “sorry can’t – got to be up early tomorrow for practice.” Seek out friends who feel the same way as you do about things like doing drugs, because there is always power in numbers! If you are really worried about a situation and think that there are safety issues seek help with an adult you trust.