Sometimes, our fear of negative reactions from our friends, or others we don’t even know, keeps us from doing what we know is right. Real simple, it may seem like “everyone is doing it,” but they are not. Don’t let someone else make your decisions for you. If someone is pressuring you to do something that’s not right for you, you have the right to say “no,” the right not to give a reason why, and the right to just walk away.
Pay attention to who you are hanging out with. If you are hanging out with a group in which the majority of kids are drinking alcohol or using drugs to get high, you may want to think about making some new friends. You may be headed toward an alcohol and drug problem if you continue to hang around others who routinely drink alcohol. You don’t have to go along to get along.
As you grow up, having people you can rely on, people you can talk to about life, life’s challenges, and your decisions about alcohol and drugs is very important. The opportunity to benefit from someone else’s life experiences can help put things in perspective and can be invaluable.
Learn how to enjoy life and the people in your life, without adding alcohol. Alcohol can change who you are, limit your potential and complicate your life. Too often, “I’m bored” is just an excuse. Get out and get active in school and community activities, such as music, sports, arts or a part-time job. Giving back as a volunteer is a great way to gain perspective on life.
As you grow up and want to assume more control over your life, having the trust and respect of your parents is very important. Don’t let alcohol come between you and your parents. Talking with a parent or guardian about alcohol and other drugs can be very helpful.
You cannot rely on the myths and misconceptions that are out there among your friends and on the Internet. Your ability to make the right decisions includes getting educated. Visit Learn About Alcohol. And, as you learn, share what you are learning with your friends and your family.
Don’t forget, what you do is more important than what you say! You are setting the foundation and direction for your life; where are you headed?
As you make plans for the party or going out with friends, you need to plan ahead. You need to protect yourself and be smart. Don’t become a victim of someone else’s alcohol use. Make sure that there is someone you can call, day or night, no matter what, if you need them. And, do the same for your friends.
Take responsibility for your life, your health and your safety. Speak up about what alcohol is doing to your friends and your community, and encourage others to do the same.
If you or someone you know is in trouble with alcohol or drugs, get help. Don’t wait. You don’t have to be alone.