As you get older you can feel more and more pressured to drink. It seems to be everywhere - on TV, movies, and around school. So what do you do when you decide that you don't want to drink?
How to say no
Have some responses to hand - you can always try practicing them beforehand so you feel more confident. Why not try out these?
- I'm gonna stay sober to make sure you guys don't do anything daft
- I'm trying to look after myself a bit - not drinking is part of that
- I'm taking medication just now and can't mix it with booze
- I’ve got my eye on somebody, and I want a clear head to go chat them up
Remember: it’s okay, and sensible, to say no.
Real friends won’t pressure you too much into doing something you don’t want to do. Just be firm, don’t make a big deal of it, and don’t let yourself be persuaded otherwise.
Your friends will most likely respect you more for saying how you feel and sticking to your beliefs.
Don't worry what others think
Your opinion of yourself is the only one that matters – the vast majority of people are too busy worrying about what others think of them to be judging anyone else. Stick to what you believe in, and you’ll feel better about yourself.
You aren't alone!
More and more young people are choosing to abstain from alcohol than ever before. From 2005, the number of 16 to 24 year olds in the UK saying they did not drink at all has increased by 40%.
Helping your friends
If you're confident enough to say that you don’t want to drink, it might actually help other friends in your group who also didn’t want to, but weren’t brave enough to say.
If one of your friends becomes ill, find out how to look after them.
Get more information on alcohol from Choices for Life and why not check out our advice on what to do if you are under 18 during freshers week?
Watch what happened when Sophie gave into peer pressure to drink: