Ten Tips for Prevention from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence:
1. Don’t be afraid to say no: Sometimes, our fear of negative reaction from our friends or others keeps us from doing what we know is right. It may seem like everyone is doing it, but they are not. Don’t let someone else make your decisions for you. If someone is pressuring you to do something that’s not right for you, you have the right to say NO, the right to not have to give a reason why, and the right to walk away.
2. Connect with your friends and avoid negative peer pressure: Pay attention to who you are hanging out with. If you are hanging out with a group in which the majority of kids are drinking alcohol or using drugs to get high, you may want to think about making some new friends. You may be headed toward an alcohol and drug problem if you continue to hang around others who routinely drink alcohol, smoke marijuana, abuse prescription drugs, or use illegal drugs.
3. Make connections with your parents or other adults: As you grow up, having people you can rely on, people you can talk to about life, life’s challenges, and your decisions about alcohol and drugs is very important.
4. Enjoy life and do what you love – Don’t add alcohol and drugs: Learn how to enjoy life and the people in it. without adding alcohol and drugs. Alcohol and drugs can change who you are, limit your potential and complicate life. Get out and get active in school and community activities such as music, sports, arts, or a part-time job. Giving back as a volunteer is also a great way to gain perspective on life.
5. Follow the family rules about alcohol and drugs: As you grow up and want to assume more control over your life, having the trust and respect of your parents is very important. Don’t let alcohol and drugs come between your and your family.
6. Get educated about alcohol and drugs: You cannot rely on the myths and misconceptions out there about substances. Your ability to make the right decisions includes getting educated.
7. Be a role model and set a positive example: Don’t forget, what you do is more important than what you say! You are setting the foundation and direction for your life.
8. Plan ahead: As you make plans for a party or going out with friends, you must plan ahead. You need to protect yourself and be smart. Don’t become a victim of someone else’s alcohol or drug use. Make sure that there is someone you can call, day or night, if you need them.
9. Speak out/Speak up/Take control: Take responsibility for your life, your health, and your safety. Speak up about what alcohol and drugs are doing to your friends, your community and encourage others to do the same.
10. Get help: If you or someone you know is in trouble with alcohol or drugs, get help. Don’t wait. You are not alone. Click here to view a list of referrals in the Morris County area.
What Can You Do?
Educate yourself about the real dangers of prescription and Over the Counter (OTC) drug abuse. Myth-Busting Facts
Don’t take someone else’s prescription. If a friend offers you their Rx drugs, say NO. It is unsafe to take drugs that were not prescribed for you.
Keep busy. Participate in drug-free activities such as sports, the arts or volunteering to keep your life focused on positivity.
Don’t take more drugs than you are prescribed. If you are prescribed Rx painkillers, only take what you need. Surrender any leftover drugs to your parents, and dispose of them at a drop box location near you.