Friends have a powerful influence on our lives. This influence is often for good. They make us laugh, help us feel good about ourselves and support us when we are sad or stressed. Friends are even great for our physical health! WebMD shares, “A recent study followed nearly 1,500 older people for 10 years. It found that those who had a large network of friends outlived those with fewer friends by more than 20%.” Friends make life longer and fuller. When we worry about telling our friends we don’t want to use LSD any more, we are worried about losing these valuable relationships. However good friendships last through honesty and hard times. Friendships that don’t are not as valuable as we assumed.
Friends are important for our health. They can also have a negative influence on our lives. If our friends drink or use drugs, we are more likely to follow suit. Teens aren’t the only ones who face peer pressure on a daily basis. You make your own choices, but these choices are often shaped by the people around us. We may not even realize the effect others have on our thoughts and actions. Science Daily shares a study that asked a participant to choose alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks over the course of a night out with friends. The study found that the group, “mimicked their friend and drank more heavily when their friend did — the majority of participants were unaware of this influence on their behavior and were adamant that their friend’s choice did not have anything to do with their decision to drink.” In a similar study, researchers asked one individual in a pair to choose either an alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink at a restaurant. They found, “Eighty percent of people whose partner was told to choose an alcoholic drink also chose one, compared to only 30% of partners who chose a soft drink. However, only 19% said that their partner’s choice may have had an effect on their choice of drink.” Even when you think you are deciding to drink, use LSD or take another drug independently, you are shaped by the words and actions of those around you. You should never be afraid to speak your mind around your friends. Telling your friends you no longer want to use LSD may reveal who has been negatively influencing your decisions and who has not.
Types of Peer Pressure and Telling Friends About LSD Use
When choosing how to tell your friends you don’t want to use LSD any more, consider the source of your concern. Peer pressure can be direct or indirect. Direct peer pressure is the most obvious. So-called friends will actively try to convince you to use drugs or alcohol. They may badger you or exclude you if you do not. They may discourage your efforts towards ending LSD use. Individuals who place direct peer pressure on you do not have your health in mind. These are not the friendships that support long-term health and wellbeing. These peers often have substance abuse problems as well. They may fear that you will get well while they cannot. They may not see that they can make positive decisions for themselves as well. In these situations you can turn peer pressure around. Leave the individual or group that directly encourages drug use or discourages recovery. Tell them your plans, and take those actions. You may find that members of this group approach you weeks, months or even years later to learn about finding recovery for themselves.
Indirect peer pressure is less obvious. Hanging out with a friend or group of friends may simply always involve drugs or alcohol. The Australian Government Department of Health explains, “It’s not uncommon for a group of friends to have particular habits or activities that they do together – for example, drinking or taking drugs…Work pressures may also mean that the natural thing for everyone to do at the end of the day is to go out and take drugs to relax, or even to stay awake and cope with the long hours of a job.” Drug use may not be openly supported or encouraged. It may simply seem like the “norm.” If drug use is all you have in common with your friends or coworkers, you may rightly fear that ending LSD use will end these “friendships.” However if this is all you have in common, then these aren’t rewarding or meaningful friendships. You may find that you don’t even have to tell these friends you no longer want to use LSD. Simply no longer doing so may cause you to drift apart naturally and easily.
Friends, Health and LSD Recovery
If you have to leave friends or friend groups behind, does this mean you will be friendless in recovery? This is a concern many individuals have. It may be a reason why you haven’t yet told your friends about your interest in recovery. It may be why you haven’t begun treatment or taken the actions you know are best for you and your health. Unhealthy relationships will end in recovery. Healthy ones will last and strengthen. New friendships will bloom as you meet peers in recovery. You will meet individuals with similar values and goals. Recovery means finding a greater positive social circle. It gives you the opportunity to learn who truly supports you and your health and to find more peers who do. Rebuild a healthy social life. Make the decision to end LSD use, and tell your friends. Call our helpline for more information about ending drug use and talking with friends. We are here 24 hours a day to help you learn what recovery looks like and how you can reach it. Recovery is full of life, fun and friendship. Find these; call now.
 http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/good-friends-are-good-for-you. “Good Friends Are Good for You.” WebMD. 20 Apr 2016. Web. 23 Aug 2016.
 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140304141854.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fmind_brain+%28Mind+%26+Brain+News+–+ScienceDaily%29. “Drinking Buddies Deny Copying Alcoholic Drink Orders.” 4 Mar 2014. Web. 23 Aug 2016.
 http://www.drugs.health.gov.au/internet/drugs/publishing.nsf/content/youth3#pretend. “Avoiding Situations: The Influence of Peers on Your Behaviour.” Australian Government Department of health. Feb 2014. Web. 23 Aug 2016.