Role models are important when growing up. They set positive examples and expectations. But what happens when a role model is an older sibling/cousin that is setting a bad example and using drugs?
In today’s blog, we will go over the negative influence an older sibling might have when they use drugs and how a younger sibling can influence an older sibling.
Pressure of the Older Sibling
When you see your older sibling using marijuana or other drugs there might be a slight pressure to partake as well, especially if you look up to them.
“Well, if they’re doing it, then it should be ok for me to try it as well!”
There’s also the possibility where an older sibling offers you to try drugs with them. There could be some peer pressure from your older sibling. “Come on, it’s just one hit (or sip).” Or “I’d rather you try it with me rather than at some random persons house.” It’s hard to say no to peer pressure, but even harder to say no when its coming from your older sibling.
When I was younger, one of my friends started using marijuana. She told me that the first time she tried smoking was with her brother. After that she started using once in a while and said “it’s “fine” because she gets the weed from her older brother.
Using at a young age can increase the chance of addiction. If a person uses before the age of 21, there is a 40-80% chance of addiction in adult years. It also affects the developing brain and can cause memory loss, lower IQ, and even anxiety and depression.
Influence of the Younger Sibling
While older siblings can influence younger siblings, it can work the other way as well. Younger siblings can influence older siblings’ decisions. I know many people who do not use drugs because they want to be a good role model for their younger sibling. They know that if they use, there is a greater chance that the younger sibling will use as well. They truly embrace being a good role model for their younger sibling.
While its true siblings influence each other, it does not have to be in a negative way. If your older sibling is offering you marijuana or other drugs and you feel uncomfortable with it, you can still say no to them. You can even voice that you are uncomfortable with them using and tell them you’re concerned because you care for them.
To learn about how marijuana has evolved in the recent years, see our other article "Not Your Mamas Weed"
Check out our YouTube video - "What to Say When Someone Tries to Pressure You To Use Marijuana" for those moments of peer pressure
And “Lets Talk Pot Part 2: How Does My Young Brain React to Marijuana” to learn more about how marijuana can affect your developing brain.
Also follow us on social media where we share youth marijuana and alcohol prevention tips and data!