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Finding friends who don't drink

Many young people who don't drink say a friend helps them stay alcohol-free. Read what Dana and Ilton say about the importance of having a close friend's support.

DANA: What I like most about Lacardia is she's an all around fun person. We support each other in our decision to not drink. We decided we're going to be the one's who make it.

ILTON: I started breaking, b-boying, at the age of 14. My friends that I dance with are like my brothers. They're like my second hand. Any time I need anything or any help I could just go to them. We don't need alcohol. We just go to a party to dance, have a little fun and just chill.

DANA: Yeah, a lot of people do drink, and some people think its OK. But I just say no. If it's a friend, they'll understand. I just think if I stick with those people who don't drink, I'll be much better off.

ILTON: Other guys probably talk about us. It doesn't really matter to me. I don't let that bother me, and neither do my friends. I'll be the one living years and years. That's how we look at it.

DANA: When I'm older and I'm successful and have all the things that I need and want, I know I'll look back and say I stood my ground. I respected myself.

ILTON: Being in a group that doesn't drink helps a lot. We're a positive group, you know. We don't need things like this. When people tell you, "Oh here take a drink," and you're with a group that's non-alcohol, it's easier. They're not going to say anything, because you're with a whole group. They just leave us alone.

Many young people who don't drink say a friend helps them stay alcohol-free.



It's A Fact.
One common reason teens drink, even when they don't want to, is the pressure to fit in.

Another reason kids say they drink is to feel comfortable in social situations.

Strong involvement in fun, healthy activities helps you make good friends. And that increases the chances you'll stay drug-free.

Dealing With It.
Ask yourself whether it's worth doing something that could harm you just to follow the crowd.

Remind yourself that you don't need anyone's approval but your own. Self respect will get you farther in life than the approval of others.

Talk with someone you trust about the many reasons to wait to use alcohol. This can give you strength to make smart, mature choices.

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