5 Ways to Avoid Peer Pressure and Say No When Offered Drugs in Recovery

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June 9, 2021

Once you exit rehab and reenter the real world, you’ll be faced with a wide array of temptations when it comes to substance abuse. Some of that temptation might come from your peers, especially the people you used to use drugs with. They may try to pull you back into the lifestyle by offering you drugs. Here’s a quick primer on how to avoid peer pressure for drugs in early recovery.

1. Be Firm When Saying No to Peer Pressure and Drugs

Finding a way to say “no” can be tricky, especially if the other person is being very persuasive. You’ll need to stand your ground, even if your internal resolve feels a bit shaky. Use a firm voice and look them in the eye when speaking.man being pointed at facing peer pressure for drugs

In addition to saying no, you may also want to include a reason for your answer. Here are some things you can say to get your point across:

  • “This is bad for my health.”
  • “This could ruin my life.”
  • “I am trying my best to stay clean.”
  • “I don’t use anymore, so please stop asking.”
  • “If I am caught, I will lose my housing.”

2. Relate the Statistics

Substance abuse disorders are like most other chronic illnesses—relapse rates are common. With substance abuse, about 40% to 60% of people relapse at some point. That’s compared to 50% to 70% of people with hypertension or asthma.

It’s important that you make your peers understand this. Addiction is a disease, and if they keep pestering you to use, you’ll be more likely to relapse. If they truly care about you, this should hit home. But if they laugh or still keep asking, they’re not real friends and you shouldn’t trust them.

3. Avoid Situations Where You Might Be Tempted

Did you have a place you used to use a lot? For example, maybe you always took drugs at a certain friend’s house. Or maybe you want to go to a concert or bar where drug use might be rampant. If so, definitely avoid these locations. If you still want to meet with your friends (which might not be a good idea if you used together), make sure to do it in a neutral place.

These situations where you might be tempted to use are called triggers. They serve as a reminder of all the times you did drugs, and your brain will use these cues to remind you how good it felt.

4. Bring Along a Sober Buddy

If you know you’ll be tempted by peer pressure when heading out somewhere, it’s a good idea to bring along someone who can reign you in if you need help. Choose a trusted friend or confidant who can back you up if things get rough. Ideally, this will be a person who doesn’t use, as that way, they won’t be tempted either.

5. Offer to Be the Designated Driver

If you’ll be heading out with a group of people, one way to prevent them from offering you drugs is to be the designated driver. Instead of trying to make you feel bad for not using, they’ll really appreciate this gesture. That way, everyone can get home safely, and you can keep on crushing your recovery.woman and friends clapping hands

Peer Pressure for Drugs Doesn’t Have to Make You Cave

You’ve put in so much hard work in rehab. Don’t let other people influence you to get back into your old habits. By using the above tips to avoid peer pressure for drugs, you can keep working your way through recovery. Even if you have a minor slip, know that there are ways to recover before a mistake becomes a relapse.

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