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Helping and Learning to “Just Say No”

Every teen and young adult once in their life are confronted with drugs or alcohol. The fatal truth is that many of them will be asked by friends or classmates, if they want to try drugs or alcohol. As parents or counsellors, the best that can be done is to direct them in the right direction and expose them to ways to say no and protect themselves. Teenagers and young adults should be made aware of the consequences of these substances and that they can talk to their parents and get help if they need it.

When faced with peer pressure situation, it’s important that teenagers and young adults be confident in their answers and decisions. Below are some ways that you help our children:

Set Rules

It is crucially important to set rules and regulations. Even more importantly, to follow through with a punishment if not followed. Be aware of their schedule on daily basis and they should be accessible through phone or return the call as soon as possible.


Parents must plan activities for their children post school hours so they are directed in something positive than spending time doing something not useful. Also, keep a check on them when they attend social functions and be aware of the “Who, What, Where, When” information.

Give children the freedom to be with children their age but also teach them to leave a situation where drugs or alcohol show up. Teach them ways to make an excuse and to leave a particular situation.


It is essential to have conversations with your children regarding the potential drug and alcohol situations. Also, encourage them to tell about experiences they or their friends have had and how they overcame them.

Teach them pick good anti-pressure “excuses” such as:

  • My parents will ground me forever if they find out.
  • That stuff makes me sick.
  • I can’t stay; I’ve got to help my Mom with something.
  • No way. I think you just want me to get into trouble.
  • I don’t have time for drugs.

Once they give the above answers, they should not wait there and preferably leave as soon as possible. Another way, teach them to change the topic of conversation by conversing about music or movies. Also, do a role-play where your children can get a better idea of situations.

Moreover, encourage your children to be confident and stand up for themselves and what they believe in. And as parents be a good example for them to follow your footsteps. Always boost your child’s confidence and appreciate them when they’ve stood up to peer pressure and made a good decision.