They base this hypothesis on the fact that the brain’s ventral striatum mediates reward processing. In other words, as brain activity in the area increases, so does the ability to resist peer pressure. For example, a young teenager is offered a cigarette by his or her friends, and must consider the consequences and benefits. Because this teenager does not have a developed ventral striatum, he or she wouldn't process the risks of smoking cigarettes as thoroughly as an older teenager. A younger teenager has a less developed ventral striatum, and as a result, is unable to resist peer pressure as effectively.
* Choosing to spend time with positive role models can encourage the individual to make the right choices in life. Conversely, avoiding those who support destructive behaviors is also important. It can be helpful to view peer pressure as being similar to food. Those who consume a lot of junk will become unhealthy; while those who stick to nutritious food will receive all the benefits of this.
* Those people who have high self-esteem will be less likely to bow to negative peer pressure. It is possible for the individual to build up their self-esteem by setting goals and achieving them. It also involves learning to handle criticism and accept compliments. Those individuals who are most likely to fall into addiction tend to have low self-esteem.
* It is important for people to have good information about the dangers of drug use. These dangers should not be exaggerated nor should they be sugar-coated. If the individual understands the real risks of a behavior they may think twice about engaging in it.
* Children should feel able to come to adults for advice. That way if they are feeling peer pressure to engage in certain behaviors they will have somebody reliable to turn to. If kids feel that adults are going to be too judgmental, or that they will react badly, it will be harder for them to talk about their problems.