An almost unsurprising study reported on in the January 1999 issue of The Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology finds that teenagers with high levels of hope, optimism and self-esteem are less likely to use drugs, cigarettes or alcohol.

The students were tested for their individual levels of optimism (defined as positive feelings about one’s future), hope (confidence that problems in life can be overcome) and self-esteem (a positive assessment of one’s own worth).

Overall, “55.1%, 36.5% and 8.7% of the participants reported having ever used alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana respectively,” say the authors.

But students with the highest levels of optimism had a 20% lower risk of drinking alcohol, 22% lower risk of smoking cigarettes and a 14% lower risk of trying marijuana.

“Adolescents who have more positive expectancies (e.g., I will ensure good things will happen to me in the future)” tend to adopt attitudes “that deter them from using substances (e.g., “I will not become a smoker in response to peer pressure”).”

The investigators believe anti-drug programs that raise personal levels of optimism, hope, and self-esteem might be more effective in stopping substance abuse. You become what your mind is.

So the question is, how do we keep teens happy and optimistic? One way to make sure they’re happy is to make sure they’re healthy and feel good internally. Chiropractic care can help with that! Want to learn how our chiropractor’s adjustments may make your teen’s life less painful and better? Reach out to use today for answers!