Lots of people want to know more about alcohol and drugs and experiment with them. Although it may seem fun they can cause problems both physically and emotionally.

There are different types of alcohol and drugs some are legal and some are not. Even if something is legal, like alcohol, it does not mean that it is safe to use.

People can have just as many problems with legal substances as they can with illegal ones. There are lots of reasons why people might use alcohol and drugs. 

Tips on how to avoid drink and drug situations

Don’t Be Afraid to Say No:  Sometimes fear of negative reaction from friends - or others we don’t even know - keeps us from doing what we know is right. If someone is pressuring you to do something that's not right for you, you have the right to say no, the right not to give a reason why, and the right to just walk away.

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 people are drinking alcohol or using drugs, you may want to think about making some new friends.  You don't have to go along to get along. 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. The opportunity to benefit from someone else’s life experiences can help put things in perspective and can be invaluable.

Enjoy Life and Do What You Love:  Don’t Add Alcohol and Drugs. Alcohol and drugs can change who you are, limit your potential and complicate your life. Too often, “I’m bored” is just an excuse. 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 a great way to gain perspective on life.

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 important.  Don’t let alcohol and drugs come between you and your parents.  Talking with mom and dad about alcohol and drugs can be very helpful.

Get Educated About Alcohol and Drugs:  You cannot rely on the myths and misconceptions that are out there among your friends and on the internet.  Your ability to make the right decisions includes getting educated.  Visit www.talktofrank.com.  

Plan Ahead:  As you make plans for the party or going out with friends you need to 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, no matter what, if you need them.  And, do the same for your friends.

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.

Get help! If you or someone you know is in trouble with alcohol or drugs, get help. Don’t wait. You don't have to be alone.