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You are responsible for your decisions and actions. So, you need the most accurate and reliable information to make the best Choices possible.

Tips for you to use if you want to avoid drinking alcohol or using substances

You are not alone! Most teens aren’t drinking alcohol or doing drugs. Research shows that 60% of Cape Cod teens choose not to drink alcohol, and 70% don’t smoke marijuana.

Sometimes friends will try to pressure you to drink or to try substances when you don't want to. Below are some strategies used by young people to justify not participating:
  • Say you don’t like the taste of alcohol, or the way substances make you feel.
  • Say you’re on medication.
  • Say you’re taking on the task of being a designated driver.
  • Make your own drinks without alcohol.
Keep your edge

Instead of drinking or doing drugs to manage your mood temporarily, try taking a walk in your neighborhood or beach to tackle stress and anxiety. Alcohol is a depressant, or downer, because it reduces brain activity. If you are feeling sad or depressed before you start drinking, alcohol can make you feel worse.

Don’t do anything you wouldn't want posted on the Internet

With the constant evolution of technology, any picture taken can be on several social media sites, and seen by thousands in a matter of minutes. There is no way to remove this photo from cyberspace, and many have gone on to regret pictures, or videos that were taken of them without their consent.

Talk to others who want to avoid substance use.

You can hashtag #MyChoiceMatters on Instagram, to join all the others on Cape Cod that are working towards a healthier alternative.

Portrait of mixed race girls smiling and looking at camera

Tips for keeping yourself safe when drinking alcohol or using substances

Be in control

A fraction too much can make for a scary experience. Avoid overdose or dangerous situations by understanding safe levels of use.

Avoid impulse drinking and substance use

Drinking or using substances in reaction to anger is particularly likely to lead to a bad drinking episode.

Don't try to keep up with other drinkers, and avoid drinking games

As your night goes on, think about how you are feeling as you drink and slow down or stop if you're starting to feel like you're not in control

Don't let other people top up your drinks - and finish one before starting another
Drink alcohol only in the company of good friends
Never leave your drink or your friend unattended

Create a Safety Net

Stick together. Always go out with another person, and plan your transportation ahead of time.
Only get in a car with drivers who are not under the influence of alcohol or other substances

Decide who will be the designated driver before you go out.

Keep an eye out for each other - intervene if you see a friend becoming excessively drunk

Go to parties with positive people that have your best interests in mind. Choose companions who will make sure to keep an eye out, and not let anyone wander off with people no one knows, especially if there appears to be drinking or drugs involved.

If a friend is about to do something especially stupid, you’ll stop them, and vice versa. Handstand dance off? Alright, go for it. Underage drinking and driving? Not a chance.

Send an Emoji!

Have a code word with a friend, parent or sibling to let them know you need a ride without explaining yourself. It could be a word, phrase, the crying cat emoji

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