How to Say No

Everyone wants to fit in. But what do you do if you’re at a party and everyone’s drinking alcohol? Or doing drugs? It helps to already have a strategy in place—to know what you’re going to say and how you’re going to handle the situation. You can ask your parents or a friend to help you come up with a great one-liner. Some kids like to say “no” and be done with it. Others like to say something funny.

If saying “no” makes you feel uncomfortable, blame your parents! Say something like, “I got in trouble with my parents once when I was drinking and I’m not going through that again.” Or, “My parents are coming to pick me up and they have alcohol radar.” You can also blame it on your coach —”I have a game tomorrow and Coach would kill me—or “I don’t want to blow my scholarship opportunity.” If you’re going to a party with a friend, and you think there may be alcohol or drugs there, develop a strategy together. Pick a signal that you and your friend can use when it’s time to leave, if the situation gets uncomfortable to be around. Or ask in advance if there will be alcohol or drugs at the party, so you can decide in advance if you even want to be put in that situation.