There are many theories as to why teens in the US are amongst the highest misusers of drugs in the world. One theory suggested by Bauman is that peer influence is a major cause of teen drug misusing behavior. Research findings from one study focused on friend selection and also projection, but found that to suggest that peer influence was a big factor was exaggerating as it may not have been as influential as first thought. However it is odd that,considering it is such a widely held belief, there is far more work that needs to be conducted on peer group drug influences in order to make any definite conclusions.
This view can also be contrasted with the 'adventure' theory. This theory takes the natural curiosity and thrill-seeking propensity of the young into the world of new substances to experiment with and this can lead to risky behaviors.These motives, added to the usual rebelling against authority are what Dr. Mitchell S. Rosenthal focuses on.He is president of a large drug treatment program called Phoenix House, and he feels that teens are seeking adventure and excitement and the route they choose is in experimenting with drugs. The need to show off, to take bigger risks than anyone else, can often lead adolescents into the dangerous world of drugs as they believe they are omnipotent, powerful and nothing can hurt them.