Cite this article

NIDA. (2012, October 4). Bullying Hurts the Bully, Too. Retrieved from

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Sara Bellum
October 4 2012
Girl holding a stop bullying message

During October’s National Bullying Prevention Month, SBB wonders: Do you have sympathy for kids who bully other kids?

People often talk about how much bullying affects kids and teens who are the victims of mean-spirited attacks. Adults who were bullied as kids can vividly remember names they were called and times they felt humiliated. Kids who are bullied can experience many problems like stomachaches or headaches, depression and anxiety, and sleeping troubles.

Problems for Bullies

But did you know that bullying also can hurt the person doing the bullying? Research shows that kids who bully are more likely to use drugs, smoke cigarettes, and drink alcohol; have mental health problems; and get into trouble with violence later in life.

What’s not known is which comes first. As one researcher puts it, “Youth who bully others might be more likely to also try substance use. The reverse could also be true in that youth who use substances might be more likely to bully others.”

Whatever way you look at it, kids who bully need help, too. And everyone can do their part to help end bullying.

Be More Than a Bystander

Even if you’re not the bully or the bullied, you can make a difference in your school and community by standing up and not letting bullying happen when you’re around.

Enter the “Be More Than a Bystander” Challenge [link removed] by submitting a video that explains what kids and teens can do to stop bullying. Entries are due on October 14, 2012, so don’t delay!

Learn More

If you or someone you know is being bullied, or if one of your friends bullies others, you can get help. Visit for tips.

Share your experiences with bullying by leaving a comment!