Whether you’re a curious teen, an addicted adult, or somewhere in between, there are certain occasions that are more likely to put you face-to-face with drug and alcohol use. At these times, it’s more important than ever to be on guard. Jill Vanderwood, award-winning author of “Drugs Make You Un-Smarter” and popular public speaker, explains the moments you should be most prepared to fend off drugs and alcohol:

1. Holiday Celebrations

In some families, holidays are celebrated with wine, champagne, or beer.

2. Spring Break

When kids go away for spring break, they are usually celebrating a break from school and a break from parents, which will likely include drugs/alcohol and binge drinking.

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3. Graduation

This is a big night of celebrating. If nothing is planned ahead, you could likely fall into a situation with alcohol and even end up riding with a drunk driver.

4. Family Reunions

Yes, it’s the only time I’m faced with alcohol and drugs. Since young teens who have not used and adults who have haven’t used for years are faced with a situation where they look up to certain family members, they are forced to make an uncomfortable decision. Do they want to try a new drug or alcohol, or face the pressure of not conforming?

5. Meeting up with old friends

“What happened to you? You used to be fun. Come on and have a drink with me.” Old friend reunions are often planned around drinking or pot smoking.

6. Old Drinking or Druggy Friends

These long-forgotten friends from your past will likely show up at your home or your parents’ home looking for you.

7. Weddings

The spiked punch bowl usually isn’t guarded from kids. Relatives may offer drinks to kids, saying, “It’s a special occasion,” or One little drink won’t hurt him.”

8. Family Trips

Some travelers are nervous and drink too much while flying across the country.

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9. After School Visits with Friends

Going home with a friend can sometimes involve unguarded bottle of wine/hard liquor. Also, kids may find their parents’ stash of marijuana or prescription drugs.

10. Sleepovers

At a slumber party, kids could get into wine/alcohol or other substances if they aren’t monitored.

11. Movies

In movies, alcohol is shown as sophisticated or fun; a couple having a drink over dinner is portrayed as natural. Showing drunken people is used as humor, or those who are drinking seem to be popular or the life of the party. What they don’t usually show is a drinker vomiting into a toilet afterward.

Be Guarded—Either be prepared to say ‘no’ or hang around people you know won’t pressure you to drink or do drugs.
Believe in yourself!

Written By: Guest Blogger Jill Vanderwood, author of “Erase the Problem of Bullying” and “Drugs Make You Un-smarter.” You can find out more about Jill and her work here.

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