This research uses the concept of cross pressures, a concept created to explain political behavior, to predict the frequency of adolescent alcohol, cigarette, and drug use. Using a population of eighth, tenth, and twelfth graders from 207 Michigan public school districts, respondents reported their frequency of alcohol, cigarette, and drug use for thirty days and one year prior to the survey. They also reported their perception of friends' approval/disapproval of substance use, peer pressure of use, and their assessment of risk of use. Cross pressure patterns are created from these three variables and used to predict frequency of substance use. In addition to descriptive data and associations between independent and dependent variables, the findings show the patterns and extent of cross pressures to be highly predictive of frequency of substance use. The implications for understanding adolescent substance use and for educational programs are noted.