Real Ways to Say No

SayinIn my opinion, there needs to be an effective prevention campaign that helps teens and young adults learn real ways to say “No” to things that they don’t want to get involved with, such as drugs and alcohol. I think the reasons why teens use drugs are complicated, but peer pressure is definitely a major factor. Trust me, I know that the term “peer-pressure” has been exhausted. Everybody knows what peer-pressure is and everyone thinks that they can’t fall victims to it… but that’s just not true.

Teens get pressured to do things all of the time. We may receive pressure from our peers/friends to apply to a certain college, dress a certain way, use drugs, drink, smoke, etc. Sometimes we may not see it as peer pressure though, because after a while we might end up thinking that we really do want to take part in whatever someone’s pressuring us to do. If you turn a situation around though, and ask yourself, “If nobody ever offered me a drink, or if this person wasn’t here, would I ever think about doing this on my own?” If the answer is “no”, or “probably not” then you’re most likely a victim of peer pressure.

You should feel comfortable enough with your friends to tell them when you don’t want to do something. Likewise, your friends should be respectful of your choices. Here’s some straightforward advice on how to say no to drugs, alcohol, or any other activities that you don’t want to do.

  1. Don’t hesitate, and just say “No thanks.” I know it sounds simple, but the key is to respond with confidence.
  2. Use an excuse or change the subject – say that you just remembered you had to go somewhere, or come up with another activity.
  3. Leave the party. You have the freedom to walk out when you don’t want to be part of something. If you’re in a situation where you can’t leave easily, just say you’re not interested, and tell others that if your decision isn’t okay with them, they can drop you off.
  4. Avoid the situation altogether. If you don’t put yourself in risky situation then you won’t have to say no.
  5. Choose your friends wisely. Only surround yourself with positive people that share your interests.