Drinking, smoking, and using drugs have harmful effects on our bodies, our minds, and the people around us.
People choose to drink, smoke, and use drugs for various reasons.
- Peer pressure
- See family and friends using
- Deal with stress and pain
- TV, movies, and music make it “cool” and “sexy”
Alcohol slows down many important brain and body functions.
- Poor decision-making
- Uncoordinated movement
- Overblown emotions
- Reduced vision
- Slurred speech
- Reduced hearing
Alcohol poisoning happens when you drink large amounts of alcohol.
- Extreme vomiting
- Unconscious or very drowsy
- Trouble breathing
Reasons not to drink:
- Addiction —being physically and mentally dependent, and unable to stop without bad effects.
- More likely to make poor decisions and suffer consequences—having unprotected sex, which leads to sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancy; getting hurt and dying from things like drowning, ATV/skidoo crashes, fights, and suicide.
- Bad for health—more likely to gain weight, have high blood pressure, and damage the liver, heart, and brain.
- Alcohol during pregnancy may cause the baby to suffer from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
There are legal and illegal drugs. A person can be addicted to any of them, and it can be very hard to quit. Drugs make a person feel happy in the short term. Over time, a person may feel down or depressed, and take drugs to feel happy again. If you want to be happy, energetic, and motivated, avoid drugs.
Examples of illegal drugs
Examples of legal drugs
How to say no
You may find it hard to refuse if your friends or family use drugs, and you don’t want to.
Some ways to say “no”
- Just say it—“no”.
- Make an excuse. “I have to study for a big test/babysit/visit my grandmother. I can’t do that after a night of drinking/drugs.”
- At a party, drink something else.
Some things to say if someone pressures you
- They say, “Everybody’s doing drugs.”
You say, “Lots of people don’t do drugs. Anyway, it’s not for me.”
- They say, “Drugs make you feel good.”
You say, “I already feel pretty good. And I don’t want to mess that up.”
- They say, “If you’re my friend, you’ll get high with me.”
You say, “I really like you. I just don’t like drugs.”
- They say, “This stuff is really cool.”
You say, “I know someone who got really sick from that. That’s not cool at all.”
- They say, “Nobody will know.”
You say, “I’m not taking any chances. I could get grounded, or end up in jail if I got caught.”
Find new hobbies
- Do something else—read a book, watch a movie, and join a team or club.
- Find and use good information to make the best decisions about your health. Learn more at TeensHealth - Drugs and Alcohol.