Drinking at Parties: How to Say No and Stay Safe
By Melissa, age 16, New York
These days drinking is becoming a pastime for many teens. Whether it be hanging out with friends and drinking, pre-gaming, or going to a house party, alcohol is all around us. In life we have many decisions to make, and drinking is one of them. Many teens are pressured to drink because it's "the cool thing to do" or "it's just one drink".
Drinking is a growing problem in our society, affecting schoolwork and social lives. I've watched many friendships be ruined by a "drunken text" or phone call. You do not need to drink to fit in. Many people do not want to drink, but they feel the need to so they can fit in. Since many people feel forced to drink it's good to have excuses lined up if you're forced into a bad situation.
Some of these excuses can be:♥ I have to wake up early tomorrow.
♥ My stomach was upset all day, I'd rather not.
♥ My parents are getting really insane; if they think I drank they'll flip out.
♥ I'm very picky with my alcohol.
Or simply:♥ No thanks.
♥ Eh, not in the mood.
♥ Haha, maybe later.
Often enough, if you have to make an excuse, these friends are probably not the best. Seeing as many friends are not always good friends, you must learn to say no. No one can force you to drink, and if you feel pressured it's probably not as big of a deal as you think. You can still go to parties and make a lot of friends without being under the influence. Just be safe, and don't get yourself into a situation you can't handle. If you feel uncomfortable in a situation, there's probably a reason, and you should go home right away.
Tips for Party Safety
♥ Don't leave your drink anywhere (even at teen parties there can be drugs).
♥ Don't drink already opened drinks, nor from things like punch bowls.
♥ NEVER get in a car with anyone who has consumed alcohol. Buzzed driving can still cause car accidents.
♥ Girls, please don't go into a room alone with a boy you don't know.
♥ Once again, if you feel uncomfortable, call someone to get you. Your parents may ground you, but at least you'll be safe.
Safety is key when embarking on new situations such as high school or college parties. Know how you feel, and make good choices. Best of luck this fall!