There’s not a lot of information around about how young people can resist the pressure to drink, or ways they can socialise if they choose not to drink. Here are some ideas to get started with:
- Learn about alcohol, its effects, and the facts about teenage drinking, so you can make up your own mind. Talk to your friends about making choices and some of the negative outcomes from drinking.
- Talk to your parents about their views and how they could help you avoid getting caught up in drinking (they’ll be so pleased, you may be able to agree on permission to do lots of other activities).
- You and a friend, or a group of friends, could decide to support each other in your decision not to drink alcohol.
- Develop a list of fun activities that you can do with your friends that don’t involve alcohol (for some ideas to get you started see Alcohol-Free Fun below).
- Practise with each other making up responses to use when you’re offered alcohol. Eg. ‘I’m young, and that’s enough of a buzz for now!’ or ‘No thanks, I’ve heard it ages your skin and makes you gain weight!’.
Remember: Once alcohol becomes a part of your social life, it is very difficult to go back to not having it because you get used to it. Research has also shown that a lot of young people regret their decision to begin using alcohol and wish they knew how to change that decision. For a lot of young people, alcohol damages not only their bodies, but their friendships, school achievements, relationships and future plans.
Don’t believe the hype! Make up your own mind and make decisions that are right for you.
- Girls only “Pamper Nights” with manicures, facials and sleepover fun.
- Get Creative! Go ten pin bowling, overnight camping, Singstar karaoke nights or have a Movie Marathon.
- Do a local dance class -latin, jazz, hip hop
- Sports – touch footy, netball (mixed teams can be fun!)
- Take a class with some friends – learn to fire twirl, belly dance or juggle!