"reducing alcohol and drug related harm in our communities"


Be Alcohol Aware - A Perspective - Alcohol and Peer Pressure

As part of our Be Alcohol Aware campaign to mark NI Alcohol Awareness Week 2018, ASCERT colleague, Andrea Bingham, Training Officer, shares a perspective on alcohol and peer pressure.

"I was just reminiscing on my younger years quite recently. Now alcohol has never been a big issue for me, I’m crazy enough without it. And as the years have gone by I have tried alcohol at different stages however my response has been that I didn’t like the feeling of being out of control.

"Now I know that for many people that is exactly why they drink it. During my reminiscing I began to wonder about the times when I have drank and the impact of peer pressure.

"I know that peer pressure is often something that is related to adolescence and yes I get that. However, what about adult peer pressure. I can remember my University days. I studied in England and I was that girl with the funny accent who lived where bombs and bullets were frequently used

"I remember the pressure as a fresher to drink. I was living in a strange country, on a strange course, with strange people and feeling very much the need to fit in and to find my space in this faraway land.

"One way I used to do this was to join a sports team. Every fresher on the sports team had to get involved in the drinking games at every away game. The purpose of the drinking games were to get you sick. You were strongly encouraged to keep on playing these games and drinking until your stomach could hold no more.

"I can remember the pressure, no one was allowed not to play. Not that the drink was forced down your throat however everyone else was waiting on you, shouting at you, and encouraging you to play.

"I can also remember thankfully that I stood my ground and I was the only one and I think the only reason I got away with it was because I was that girl with the funny accent who lived in the land of the bullets and bombs.

"The pressure was immense and the power to say no was severely limited. Thinking back most of the students were very reluctant to play these games however gave in

"This is one example however I wonder how often adult peer pressure is an element in alcohol consumption? Although often there are difficulties relating to adolescents trying to say no, however I wonder how easy is it for adults to use that same small word?

"If you would like to receive training on alcohol awareness, check out the range of courses ASCERT can facilitate at: www.ascert.biz/training-consultancy/

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