It is common for high schoolers to have to sit through assemblies concerning drugs and alcohol. These meetings are great for giving students information on underage drinking or drug use, but students are often lost or confused when it comes to dealing with pressure from their peers in regard to such substances. While some teens may choose to experiment with drugs and alcohol, for the many young people who wish not to, there are numerous available strategies.

As many are aware, the simplest way to avoid drugs and alcohol is to steer clear of any environments where they might become involved. However, this is easier said than done, as most teens have active social lives and often find themselves going to events where drugs and alcohol are used.

If a teen is determined to avoid drinking and drugs, there are many ways to make sure that they stay sober. One idea is to politely refuse any drink or drug that is offered. Generally, the person who offered will back off pretty quickly when they encounter a firm refusal. If that does not work, teens still have options open. They can volunteer to be the designated driver for their friend group, which provides an excuse to remain sober and ensures that their friends get home safely after the party. Another way to say “no” is to have a valid reason for not using substances thought up ahead of time. Possible ideas include explaining that they have an extracurricular, big test, or meeting coming up, as well as placing the blame on strict parents.

Teens should always remember to never to leave their drinkswater, soda, etc.unattended at a party; they should make sure to take it with them if they leave the room. Additionally, in order to make sure drinks have not been tampered with, never accept drinks offered by another person, especially if they are already open. Teens should always fetch drinks themselves, and make sure what they choose is in an unopened container, like a soda can or water bottle.

If a teen feels unsafe in a situation where there are drugs and alcohol present, such as a party, and people continue to pressure them after they have refused, it is always okay to call a trusted friend or adult to come pick them up.            

Situations where drugs and alcohol are involved can be hard to avoid for many teens, but that does not mean that they can’t say no. There are many ways to refuse substances and get out of uncomfortable drug and alcohol situations.

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