436 Alcohol and Other Drugs
music, and movies
people to drink and
➤ If using a drug is
changing your life,
it is time to stop
or to use less. It is
better to stop before
the drug harms you,
your family, or your
Why do people begin to use alcohol or drugs?
People often begin to use alcohol or drugs because of social
pressure. Boys and men may face pressure to drink or use
other common drugs to prove their manhood. A man may
believe that the more he drinks, or the more drugs he uses,
the more manly he is. Some people also use alcohol and drugs
because they like how they make them feel.
Many girls and women are also beginning to face social
pressure to start drinking or using drugs. They may feel that
they will appear more grown-up or more modern. Or they may
think they will be accepted more easily by others.
Companies that make and sell alcohol and drugs
use social pressure, too. Advertisements that make
using drugs and alcohol look glamorous, especially
to young people, encourage people to buy them.
And when companies that make alcohol, or places
that sell alcohol, make it seem easy and even fun
to buy, people want to buy more. This kind of
pressure is especially harmful, because often people
are not aware it is affecting them.
When does use become misuse?
Whatever the reason for starting, alcohol and drugs can
easily become misused. A person is misusing drugs or alcohol if
she loses control over when she uses alcohol or drugs, over the
amount she uses, or over the way she acts when using alcohol
Here are some common signs that people are misusing drugs
or alcohol. They:
• feel they need a drink or a drug to get through the day or
night. They may use it at unusual times or places, such as in
the morning, or when they are alone.
• lie about how much they or others use, or hide it.
• have money problems because of how much they spend on
buying drugs or alcohol. Some people commit crimes to get
money for drugs or alcohol.
• ruin celebrations because of how much they drink alcohol
or use drugs.
• are ashamed of their behavior while using drugs or alcohol.
• are not working as well as before or are not going to work
as often because of using alcohol or drugs.
• have problems with violent behavior. A man may
become more violent towards his wife, children, or friends.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012