This is part 2 of a three-part series about underage drinking at Halloween or other parties.
You’re a teen at a Halloween or other kind of party. At least one other person peer pressures you to drink. What do you do?
You may be afraid to say no because you are fearful that the person giving you negative peer pressure will say you are not cool. You may be afraid that he or she or they will call you a goody-goody or a wimp or a wuss. In that case, you are feeling a sense of lack. You are feeling vulnerable, and perhaps, backed into a corner. Your fight or flight instinct has been activated as you are afraid that you are not going to be able to handle the situation in a safe or face-saving manner.
A little secret
What you may not realize is that the person giving the negative peer pressure is afraid also. He or she is afraid to be the only one doing the wrong thing. Therefore, he or she feels the need to have other people do exactly what he or she is doing so as to not be the only one getting in trouble.
It takes courage
It takes more courage to say “no” to drinking than it takes to begin drinking. Be aware that the frontal lobe in a teen is not fully developed until around the age of 21. What this means is that teens have not yet fully developed the part of their brain in charge of impulse control. If a teen does choose to drink, not only will he or she get the slower reflexes associated with alcohol effects, he or she puts himself at greater risk of having some negative consequence occur such as detailed in the Dangers of Teen Drinking at We Don’t Serve Teens.gov. These risks include greater chance of alcohol addiction, drunk driving wrecks, suicide, sexual behavior, lowered academic performances, binge drinking, and other negative effects.
Parents, talk to your kids. It’s okay to let them know that you would rather that they would not drink while still underage. Also, let your children know that if they find themselves at a party where alcohol is being served, encourage them to call you to request a safe ride home. Let them know that they should never drive if they have had a drink nor should they ever get in the car with anybody else who has been drinking. Teens, exercise your “no muscle”. If the other teens at the party are truly your friend, they will accept you for who and what you are. Check out the third article in the series for more specific suggestions on how to say no to drinking while still maintaining your ‘cool’ factor. Check out these YouTube videos on the myths and facts of conversations between parents and their children regarding underage drinking.
YouTube Video – Information For Parents: How To Help Reduce Underage Drinking
YouTube Video – Underage Drinking – Something to Talk About – DSHS
Underage drinking is against the law
Underage drinking is against the law. To find out more, please read “Laws about underage drinking at Halloween or other parties” in the resource section below.
Part 1 – Laws about underage drinking at Halloween or other parties
Part 2 – Peer pressure to underage drink at Halloween or other parties
Part 3 – Fight or Flight: Underage drink at Halloween or other parties
Dangers of Teen Drinking at We Don’t Serve Teens.gov
Other Resources about Underage Smoking
Part 1 – Laws about underage smoking at Halloween or other parties
Part 2 – Peer pressure to underage smoke at Halloween or other parties