By in Personal

Being a bad influence - Drug and alcohol abuse among siblings often begins at home

In families where the older child starts to take drugs like marijuana and alcohol and cigarettes, to name the common 3, if there is a younger sibling, a younger sister or younger brother, the greater is the likelihood that the older sibling will try to get their younger 7 year old brother or sister to try it and this is why I am writing today.

I am aware of someone who started off using certain hard drugs, alcoholic beverages and cigarettes just because their older brother was using them and thought it was OKAY to teach little brother or little sister to enjoy the high and follow their example.

If this is really as common as I think it is, then we as a nation are in for a generation of drug dependent adults who started off at a very early age just because they thought it was okay in doing so, just because they figured that if my older brother does it, it must be okay for me to do it too!

But what would the law say about this? Is there a level of punishment that matches the severity of contributing to the delinquency of a minor by an older brother or sister?

links to consider:

Image Credit » black pen design created by the author of this story ... Anthony Davis

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MegL wrote on August 2, 2017, 1:35 PM

It's terrible that this should happen, yet I would think that it has happened down the years. My husband started smoking at the age of 8 years, because his parents smoked. I tried smoking my parents' cigarettes if we were downstairs while they were still sleeping and siblings are taught that "it's good to share!"

EmilysPen wrote on August 5, 2017, 9:06 AM

I have a degree in Psychology and in life-span development we studied in-depth the "social learning" that may occur from a parent or familial influence--there is research that demonstrates a correlation between parents who smoke and their children smoking. However, I think it's important to remember that substance use is often used as a coping mechanism for underlying issues like abuse, lack of nourishment or any emotional/psychology needs that are not being met. I also want to mention the influence of drug/alcohol culture on people's lives. I believe a true solution to this matter is better social programs for adults and children focused on healthy activities as well as higher quality community-focused and psycho-social focused mental health care.

lookatdesktop wrote on August 5, 2017, 8:58 PM

I appreciate these comments. Thank you for sharing.

VinceSummers wrote on August 15, 2017, 9:23 PM

I will say this: there are so many harmful changes in Society of late, it can be said the U.S. seems to be developing a worse moral climate than Ancient Rome did. Adding one or two more items won't make too much difference, sadly.