Use Your Voice
You Have a Unique Voice - Use It! The choice to try drugs is yours alone. It may be difficult at times, but you can stay above the pressures in life by thinking and speaking up for yourself. Having a supportive family and friends whom you can confide in and trust to provide honest advice can help to reinforce your decisions and choices, while helping to boost your spirits during hard times.
In this section, you will find:
- Tips for dealing with the pressure to try drugs;
- Help for a friend who may be using drugs;
- And ways to approach an adult or person of influence in your life for advice about drugs or other sensitive topics.
|Tips on How to Fight the Drug Pressure||Help for a friend||Talk to an Adult|
Tips on How to Fight the Drug Pressure
Adolescence can be a difficult time. It's a time when you experience all sorts of pressures with friends, family and school, and it can also be a time when you make some very important decisions that will have an impact on the rest of your life. Opting to be drug free is one of these important decisions.
Tips for Saying "No"
It can sometimes be difficult to say no to friends or peers without offending them or feeling singled out for going against the grain. Here are some ideas you can build off of:
- I don't want to end up like that "has-been" celebrity.
- I'm not in the mood.
- I can't take a chance with my asthma (or bronchitis, or any other health problem that could be worsened by drug use).
- I don't have the time, I've already promised to meet (insert name).
- I'm already late for work.
- I have to be home soon and I can't risk getting into trouble for being late.
- Can you imagine what would happen if my parents found out? No way - I want to live until at least tomorrow.
- Nah - I'm good, thanks.
- I'll pass - I'm not into that stuff.
- I've got a long day tomorrow and don't want to feel awful.
In cases where you feel strongly pressured, focus on something that is important to you (for example, your girlfriend/boyfriend, music, art, family, dream job, getting good grades, spirituality, etc.) and remind yourself of it whenever saying "no" becomes difficult. After all, do you want to jeopardize the things in your life that are important to you?
Or, you can also choose from one of the following:
- Respect my decision - I respect yours.
- Look, I'd rather not.
- I'll catch up with you tomorrow - I've got other things I'd like to do.
Making the Right Choice for You
Here are some other tips in helping you make the right choice:
- Know the facts on drugs. Spot the drug and its effects ahead of time.
- Know yourself: You have a unique voice - use it!
- Trust your instincts. If you do not feel comfortable in a situation where drugs are present, here are some tips for saying no.
- Hang with "supporters". If you go out to a party, go with a close friend who respects your choice.
- Talk with an adult.
Help a Friend
If you think that you or a friend might have a problem with drugs, remember that admitting it is the first step to dealing with it. There are a lot of people available to help you. Learn what help is available. Here are some problem signs a person can look for.
The person may:
- start doing drugs to deal with their problems;
- feel like they need to use drugs before school, or while they are at school;
- be bored with what used to be their favourite activity unless they're using drugs;
- choose to do things because they'll be able to use drugs;
- stop doing activities where they can't use drugs;
- stop spending time with certain friends if the friends don't like to use drugs;
- choose new friends because the friends like to use drugs with them;
- find it takes more and more drugs to actually get high;
- spend a lot more money than before on drugs;
- have trouble remembering things;
- feel sad, angry or anxious when they are not using drugs;
- use drugs by themselves;
- like to use drugs first thing in the morning;
- have to choose between using drugs and taking care of basic duties at home, work or school;
- argue and fight more than before with people they care about;
- always want to use drugs;
- not be as alert as usual;
- take serious risks just to use drugs, like going to dangerous areas where drug dealers hang out;
- start trying new types of drugs to try to get a more intense high; and/or
- start mixing drugs together to try to get a more intense high.
If someone has one or two of these symptoms, it doesn't mean they have a serious problem. If they have lots of these symptoms, it is time for them to recognize they might have a drug problem. Remember, problems with drugs can creep up on someone and it's much easier to deal with them early. The longer they wait, the harder it is to deal with because the brain and body take over and the cravings are very difficult to control.Top of Page
Talk to an Adult
Does the idea of talking with an adult about drugs feel a little awkward? That's not surprising. After all, you don't want to talk with just anybody about these things. But you may be surprised by the support your parents or guardians can give you. After all, they want you to be able to make healthy choices.
Why Talk with Parents or Other Trusted Adults?
Parents, guardians or other trusted adults can give you advice or a different perspective to help you make healthy decisions. Believe it or not, most young teens consider their parents to be credible sources of information about illegal drugs use. For most youth, parents or guardians remain one of the most influential persons in their lives.
Still looking for someone to talk with? Take a look at the list of national, provincial and/or territorial and international Web sites and help lines that are included in the DrugsNot4Me section for more information.Top of Page
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