7 Easy Ways to Resist Peer Pressure and Alcohol as a Teenager

Experimenting with new things is a normal part of being a teenager. But when it comes to drugs and alcohol, knowing how to resist peer pressure is more important than ever, especially since many substances can be harmful to your health. Fortunately, peer pressure is relatively easy to overcome, and can be done in a manner that won’t offend your friends or hurt their feelings.

If you or a friend is struggling with substance abuse, understand there are several nearby rehab centers that can help. Call our 24/7 confidential helpline at 800-839-1686 to learn more about safe, pain-free treatments for substance abuse and addiction.

Here are seven easy ways to resist and overcome peer pressure when friends are encouraging you to drink alcohol.

1. Be the Designated Driver

Inform your friends that you’re nominating yourself as the designated driver. This prevents intoxicated friends from getting behind the wheel, and keeps you, your friends, and other community members safe. In most cases, your friends will be thankful about not having to worry about driving home or getting into accidents.

2. Bring Non-Alcoholic Beverages

Resist Peer Pressure

True friends will respect your decision not to drink.

Bring beverages other than alcohol when spending time with friends, such as water, juice, or soda. In most cases, people won’t bother offering you a beverage if they notice you’re already drinking something. If you’re still concerned about friends pressuring you to drink, bring a thermos or bottle of your favorite non-alcoholic beverage, and simply tell your friends you made your own drink.

3. Stay Busy

Staying busy can prevent you from looking bored or as if you need a drink. If you’re at a party, head to the dance floor, task yourself with cleaning up, or make it a point to visit and talk to everyone at the party. The busier you are, the less time you’ll have for drinking.

4. Use Exercise and Health

If you play sports, inform your friends that you cannot drink because you have a sporting event the following day. Or, inform your friends that you’re dedicated to your workout goals, and that drinking has adverse effects on your health and interferes with your workouts. You can also tell your friends you are taking medications or have a health condition that prevents you from drinking.

5. Make an Excuse

Sometimes, telling a white lie is perfectly okay when it comes to protecting your health and livelihood. Tell your friends that you cannot drink because something important is taking place the following day, such as visiting relatives or taking a major test at school. Keep in mind that your personal life is your business, and that you’re not necessarily obligated to tell your friends what’s going on.

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6. Blame Your Parents

Most teenagers agree that they don’t always like the rules set in place by their parents, which is why blaming your parents can be a great way to combat peer pressure. Tell your friends your parents will smell your breath when you get home, or that they’ll be checking up on you throughout the night to confirm you’re not drinking.

7. Be Honest

When all else fails, consider being upfront and honest with your friends about your decision not to drink. True friends will respect your decision, and refrain from pressuring you to drink. In some cases, your friends might agree with you, and choose to engage in activities that don’t involve drinking.

If you or someone you care about is suffering from alcohol abuse, understand there are several nearby rehab centers that can help. Call our 24/7 confidential helpline at 800-839-1686 to consult with an addiction treatment advisor who can guide you toward local rehab centers that treat substance abuse.

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