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Feeling peer pressure

How do you handle the pressures to drink? Ilton, Robert, Megan, Mary, and Dana give you tips from their experience.

ILTON: It's hard not to drink. You see drinking everywhere. On the streets, on commercials, on billboards.

MEGAN: I remember a party with my sister. I was very scared, thinking: I have to drink. These people are so much older. I have to impress them.

DANA: It's not easy being the so-called "good" person when you are watching everybody else drink.

ROBERT: Everybody is concerned with what people think. They really don't have a sense of individuality.

DANA: When people try to get me to drink, I tell them no. If they continuously pressure me, I'll like, get rude.

ILTON: If they keep pressuring you to drink, and you don't want to, walk away. That's the best solution.

DANA: You have to have the strength to not do what everybody else is doing.

ILTON: You don't need to drink just because somebody's telling you to drink. You have your own ways. That's what you got to tell them: My way is to stay the way I am, and I don't want to drink. If they can't respect that, then you need to leave them. you have to look deep down for something you like doing besides drinking.

MEGAN: If you're drinking because you think it's cool or you're drinking to go get drunk or, you're drinking to fit in, I would say that those are not good reasons. I would think about it some more before you actually went out and did it because it's a very dangerous thing to just pick up.

MARY: I get pressure to drink, because I hang out with people who drink. But I choose not to drink. It's not worth the consequences. I feel better about myself, because I'm not letting other people make my decisions.

How do you handle the pressures to drink?






It's A Fact.
Underage drinking is a factor in nearly half of all teen car crashes, which are the leading cause of death among teenagers.1

The brain does not finish developing until a person is around 21. Alcohol use at an early age can affect one's memory, ability to learn, and to make good judgements.2

Conditions linked to early age of first drink include drug abuse, delinguency, and decline in academic achievement.3

Dealing With It.
Remember: Not everyone drinks. Sometimes it just seems that way.

Trust your feelings. When your gut says no, choose a different action.

Seek out friends with interests, beliefs, and values similar to your own.

Faced with a tough decision, remember to consider the long-term consequences of your actions.

Hear more from Ilton, Robert, Megan, Mary, and Dana in Alcohol: True Stories hosted by Matt Damon DVD/VHS

1. National Institute on Drug Abuse.
2. Reported by MADD, From Dr. Swartzwelder, Duke University Medical Center.
3. Substance abuse and M.H.S.A.