Between 1982 and 1987, I talked to around 60,000 students in Louisville and Jefferson County, all the way from the first grade to seniors in high school. They called me one day to talk to a 6th grader who was using cocaine. I asked her. "Why did you do it?". She replied, "Because Sarah-Jane said. "If you don't do this, you're going to be all these four-lettered words that we don't want to be called." And I thought, "Yes, children do succumb to peer pressure".

Maybe adults too. In 1970 I joined a country club. That meant "I had made it". I drank whiskey like it was going out of style, because I realized that the in-people drank whiskey, plus I really liked the way it made me feel! In order to get on the board of directors of the country club, all you had to do was drink more whiskey and spend more money. So I was on the board of directors; I was even chairman of the board. You know, that's directly related to your alcohol bill. One day, after I had come back from treatment, and I was walking to a board meeting, a young man approached me with a Martini in each hand. He said "You're Burns Brady? Can you have this Martini and talk to me?" I said "No, sorry I can't have that Martini, but I'd be glad to talk to you after we come out." He said, "I've heard about you. Why can't you have this Martini". I said, "I'm an alcoholic". He looked at me as though I had kicked him in the private area and said "Congratulations!". They don't know what to do with us - they just freeze. I didn't want that drink but I didn't want to be rejected, to be less than, to be looked down upon. My basic fear is that I won't get your approval.

In 1953, when he was 18 years sober, Bill Wilson wrote a letter on Emotional Sobriety. He said all of his problems came from money, power, prestige, sex and the need for approval. The obsession of every compulsive individual, that I have ever been around, is the insatiable need for approval. Those are the psychological components. The brain is screaming "Stop me!" "Help me!" "Calm me down!" and the psychological is saying, "Would you approve of me?" "Tell me I'm okay!" "Tell me I belong!" (We'll get to that in a minute). So peer pressure is a problem for both adults and children.