Teens are faced with lots of challenges and hard choices. The decisions you make can affect your relationships, your grades, your mental and physical health and your future. You can increase your risk for STDs and unplanned pregnancy, even the first time you drink too much or get high. You also put yourself at risk of being arrested or becoming addicted. So have a plan:
Realize that you are more important than any of the reasons why people use drugs. Make a list of reasons why you don’t want to mess around with drugs.
- Avoid hanging out with people who only want to drink or get high. Think about making some new friends. And when you say “no thanks” to alcohol drugs, it may also help your friends who use stop or slow down when they’re around you.
- Talk to your parents or other adults about the decisions you face about drugs. Ask if they had the same issues when they were growing up. Listen to their stories.
- Stay active. Get involved as a volunteer, with music or sports at school. Do your homework. Get a part time job. Stay busy, have a full life!
- Come up with ways to deal with stress, anxiety, boredom and down moods in your own way, without drugs.
- Get educated. Know the facts. Don’t listen to your friends talk about how great this drug or that drink was. Find out the real story about what can happen when you get involved with drugs.
- When going out with friends, have a plan to keep yourself safe from the drug use of others. Make sure that there is someone you can call, day or night, no matter what, if you need help. Have money for the bus or a taxi so you don’t get stuck in a bad situation.
- Remember that if you made a mistake, you can always make a better decision the next time.