Even when you are confident in your decision not to use drugs or alcohol, it can be hard when it’s your friend who is offering.
A lot of times, a simple “no thanks” may be enough. But sometimes it’s not. It can get intense, especially if the people who want you to join in on a bad idea feel judged. If you’re all being “stupid” together, then they feel less self-conscious and don’t need to take all the responsibility.
But knowing they are just trying to save face doesn’t end the pressure, so here are a few tips that may come in handy.
Offer to be the designated driver. Get your friends home safely, and everyone will be glad you didn’t drink or take drugs.
If you’re on a sports team, you can say you are staying healthy to maximize your athletic performance—besides, no one would argue that a hangover would help you play your best.
Group of teen boys player soccer.
- “I have to [study for a big test / go to a concert / visit my grandmother / babysit / march in a parade, etc.]. I can’t do that after a night of drinking/drugs.”
Group of teen girls in a marching band.
- Keep a bottled drink like a soda or iced tea with you to drink at parties. People will be less likely to pressure you to drink alcohol if you’re already drinking something. If they still offer you something, just say “I’m covered.”
Two teen girls drinking soda.
- Find something to do so that you look busy. Get up and dance. Offer to DJ.
Teen girls dancing at a party.
- When all else fails…blame your parents. They won’t mind! Explain that your parents are really strict, or that they will check up on you when you get home.
A teen boy being scolded by his mother.
If your friends aren’t having it—then it’s a good time to find the door. Nobody wants to leave the party or their friends, but if your friends won’t let you party without drugs, then it’s not going to be fun for you.
Sometimes these situations totally surprise us. But sometimes we know that the party we are going to has alcohol or that people plan to do drugs at a concert. These are the times when asking yourself what you could do differently is key to not having to go through this weekend after weekend.