The pressure to drink and hazing

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The pressure to drink and hazing

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I do see, from time to time, teens getting hazed in my practice. I think it's usually under the gist of substance abuse. People forcing them to drink. People forcing them to smoke. Everybody is going, "Come on! Come on!" in a big group. With kids feeling inadequate and self-conscious at this stage of their development, they don't want to stick out; so they often conform. I think what teens need to be able to say in those situations is, "No, I'm good." They can also make up excuses, even if it's not happening. They can say, "Hey, I'm getting breathalyzed. I'm getting drug tested. I'm getting totally rolled by my parents if I get caught with this. They said they were going to send me to boarding school." If someone says, "Oh come on," after that, that teen needs to know that someone doesn't care about them at all. It's about that other person and the teen is getting used by that hazing. If any teenager needs to know about a situation is if they see that, actions speak louder than words. If that person doesn't care about them, that teenager needs to find out different people to hang out with in the first place.

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Jerry Weichman, PhD

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Jerry Weichman is a licensed psychologist and adolescent specialist as well as an author, speaker and parenting expert. His clinical practice at Hoag Hospital's Neurosciences Institute in Newport Beach, California provides a window on contemporary teen and pre-teen behavior.

“Dr. Jerry” as his adolescent patients call him, is a young PhD who really relates to teens, speaks their lingo and has felt their pain. Author of the teen survival guide, How to Deal, and noted media expert on teen issues, Dr. Jerry is focused on helping teens cope with parents, teachers, friends and academic pressure, communicating with them in a way they understand to help successfully navigate the dramas and pressures of adolescence.

Dr. Jerry's popular speeches, lectures and seminars have presented assemblies of students, teachers, parents and administrators with practical approaches on how today’s teens can overcome the trials and tribulations of growing up, from coping with bullying to meeting parental academic expectations to walking away from drugs and other self-destructive behaviors. Jerry also sits on the board of directors for the Bullying Prevention Initiative of California and just recently sat on an expert panel for a screening of the documentary Bully.

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