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Why a young person experiments with drugs

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

There are many reasons why young people may experiment with drugs. These include:


Many young people can find out quite easily where to get illegal drugs if they want them. Legal drugs - for example alcohol and nicotine - are also very accessible for a young person.


A young person may want to see what all the fuss is about and so try experimenting with drugs to find out the taste and the feeling.


In certain circles of society, experimenting with drugs is acceptable and part of an evening out, say in night clubs. In some areas where there is high unemployment and low wages, experimenting with drugs is also a way of life.

Low cost/cheap

Drugs can be cheaper than alcohol and the effects may last longer, so young people may experiment with drugs as they see believe this is better value for money.

Peer pressure

Young people may be influenced by their friends encouraging or pressurising them to experiment with drugs.


Experimenting with drugs may give a young person a feeling of courage and 'feeling good' so they want to recreate this feeling over and over again.


A young person may want to try and break away from what their parents expect of them and try to be more independent and make choices for themselves, despite what their parents think.


Some young people may experiment with drugs as a way of escaping their stressful situations, such as issues in school or with their parents, and may experiment with drugs to help them feel better.

To fit in

The young person may want to 'fit-in' with their group of friends and not seem like the 'odd-one-out' by not experimenting with drugs.

To control weight

A young person may believe that taking drugs can suppress their appetite so they may experiment with drugs to see if it helps them to control their weight.

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