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!

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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