5 Ways To Resist Peer Pressure To Drink Alcohol

Resisting underage drinking requires forethought, self-control, and removing oneself from tempting situations. As underage drinking is illegal, teens have a responsibility to avoid scenarios where alcohol is present or accessible to them.

This may mean politely declining an invitation to a party where drinking will occur, or leaving a gathering where teens start passing around alcohol.  What can you do as a teen to reduce the risk of being pressured to drink?

Enlist a Sober Friend

5 Ways To Resist Peer Pressure To Drink Alcohol

 When you are craving a drink, a good friend will remind you of the reasons you wanted to quit drinking and how far you’ve come already. That motivation can give you the resolve you need at the moment to fight the urge.

Having someone you can be vulnerable with, venting about the struggle, provides emotional safety and space. A caring friend won’t pressure you and will reinforce taking things one step at a time.

Maybe most subtly but profoundly, a sober friend leads by example in their sobriety, silently showing you that life without alcohol is possible. With their support and accountability, the difficult path of sobriety becomes much more achievable, especially for those who are taking part in alcoholic group therapy.

Stand Your Ground

Refusing an alcoholic drink firmly yet politely can be challenging in certain social situations. It’s important to have an exit strategy prepared in advance so you can stand by your decision not to drink. When offered a drink, start by casually holding a non-alcoholic beverage, which gives you a built-in reason to decline.

Clearly state “No thank you, I’m not drinking tonight” or a similar definitive refusal. If pressed further, simply repeat your stance in a polite but unambiguous manner.

Have an Exit Strategy

5 Ways To Resist Peer Pressure To Drink Alcohol

It also helps to anticipate situations involving drinking so you can mentally prepare and think about coping strategies ahead of time. Having an “out” planned, such as driving your car or having a parent on standby to pick you up if needed, can make it easier to bail out of an uncomfortable situation while saving face with peers.

If useful, you can even blame your parents by saying “If my parents smelled alcohol on my breath I’d be grounded for months.”

Place the Focus Elsewhere

Politely reroute the conversation to highlight other social experiences or upcoming events where drinking may not be as pronounced. Shift attention to another friend who may be open to having a drink with the group. Redirecting the group’s focus from you removes the pressure without conflict.

Own Your Decision-Making

5 Ways To Resist Peer Pressure To Drink Alcohol

Explain clearly that your choice comes from personal or religious beliefs, health reasons, or future ambitions like athletics or getting into college. Say, “I’m responsible for myself and need to feel good about my decisions.” Stand tall in your truth with self-confidence. Your convictions deserve to be honored.

Ultimately, true friends will come to respect your standards even if they don’t always understand or agree with them. As you build self-esteem and integrity over time by sticking to your convictions, you’ll attract more like-minded friends into your circle.

Occasional teasing or peer pressure may still occur, but staying centered and secure in your values will help it roll off your back more easily. With practice, it becomes second nature to politely yet confidently resist drinking in any situation where you feel it’s not right for you. The more you own your power of choice, the easier it gets.

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