Criminal Defense Law Center
West Michigan

Saying No to Drugs is Important for Teenagers

How To Say No To Drugs

Drug abuse is no joke. The devastating impact it has on families, society and the individual using illegal narcotics is substantial. Parents losing their sons and daughters. Jails and prisons full of people committing crimes because they are under the influence and individual lives forever destroyed by drugs such as Meth, Heroin and Cocaine. Given how destructive these drugs are, it is very important to provide compelling answers to the question of “How to say no to drugs?”

Any individual who uses a mood-altering and dangerous substance with any kind of frequency is someone who has a dependency problem.  Substance abuse can happen with non-prescription drugs such as tobacco and alcohol. Drug abuse among teens in Michigan is a growing problem. Teenagers are always going to come into contact at some point in their lives with alcohol, tobacco or illegal substances.

While some teenagers will say no to drugs, far too many teenagers will find themselves using and abusing drugs because of stress, peer pressure and curiosity. When our teenagers have to make a decision about rejecting drug use or giving into temptation and using drugs, teenagers who have both parents’ activity involved in their life will be less likely to use drugs. A strong home life gives teenagers the self-esteem and confidence needed to reject using illegal substances.

Peer Pressure Factors

Let’s now examine the numerous factors that push a person to using drugs. Perhaps the leading factor for those who are teenagers is peer pressure. The impact this factor is massive! If a teenager has a group of friends who are using drugs and encouraging their friends to use drugs, studies show a teenager is more likely to try and abuse drugs long term. A teenager may also give into peer pressure because they want to be in a popular group. That group many times has not accepted the teen. The teen’s desire to be accepted or fit in causes them to give into drinking, drugs and smoking. Again, if the teenager has good self-esteem, believe they have worth and confidence, it will go quite a way to helping them say no to drugs. When people are confident in themselves and they have strong values they hold on to, they will be much less likely to look towards outside things to make them feel valued, special and loved.

Give teenagers things they can enjoy doing. Have them engage in sports. Have them train in music, art or any other healthy recreational activities. These types of things will allow a teenager to express themselves. These activities will give them positive self-esteem. They will note feel the need to fit in. They will not feel the desire to want to feel loved because they know they are. Teenagers should also try to hang out with friends who share these kinds of values. We like playing sports and who do not believe in doing drugs. Hanging out with friends who share the same values and beliefs that you do is a great way to reduce the risk of drug abuse. It will reduce the risk of negative peer pressure and this reduced the chance teenagers will do wrong and potentially harmful things.

Even with the best of parents, the best of friends and the best of recreational activities, it can still be tough to say no to drugs. We need to teach people to learn how to say, “No thanks.” This simple answer can be powerful. In other cases, teenagers should say “No”, but then offer to do something else. If the person is a friend, they can refuse to do drugs but then a healthy alternative such as, playing sports, reading the Bible, listening to music, watching a movie, going to the beach, or helping someone out who is in need?

One more trick in the bag a teenager can use to say not to drugs is by putting humor attached to their refusal. In some cases, it is also a great idea to avoid situations where peer pressure can be applied. Any party in high school has a high risk of alcohol and drugs be offered. By not going to these parties, a teenager will not have to say no in the first place.

Negative Impact of Not Saying No To Drugs

Teens who could still go either way when it comes to taking alcohol or drugs need to seriously think about the impact of taking drugs. Substance abuse will alienate their relationship with friends and family. Grades in high school almost always suffer from drug abuse. In extreme cases, a teen may not even graduate high school because of their drug abuse. Chance to go to college can be ruined from bad grades and a lack of financial aid due to a drug conviction.  When a teen goes into the workplace with no high school diploma, or bad grades in high school their chances of getting a good career are extremely limited.

A teenager’s health is also going to be at risk from drug abuse. There are numerous major and minor diseases and illnesses that can be contracted from using dirty needles. Sexually transmitted diseases can be spread through sexual relations while a teenager is under the influence. There is also a grave impact that happens to a teens mental health while abusing drugs. Depression and withdraw are very common with substance abuse. Substance abuse leads to Illegal activity such as robbery, sexual assault and driving offenses can lead to incarceration, the loss of employment and the respect of the community.

Obviously, it is best to avoid getting addicted to drugs if you are a teenager. However, all hope is not lost if a teen gets addicted to illegal drugs or ones that are legal such as alcohol. It is always a good time to get help. The first step is being honest about the addiction. Parents need to be there for their kids if they get addicted. After parents become involved, professional help needs to be brought into the picture. A trip to a treatment center maybe a good idea. In other cases, counseling and support groups can work wonders to help people conquer their substance abuse.


Going through the teenage years can be tough. We’ve all been there and remember those clumsy days. Those days of peer pressure. Despite this, it does not mean a teenager needs to turn to drugs. We know that people desire to fit in and that that desire is a very powerful motivator. However, when we look at things logically, we know that all the negative repercussions with drug use are not worth it. To summarize things, if we want to help teenagers and people in general stay off of drugs, we need to help these people figure out what they enjoy. We need to help these people understand what makes them a human being: the spiritual and physical. If we help these people gain a strong sense of self-worth, if we can infuse these people with a dose of confidence, we get people to say no to drugs.

If you want more information about charges associated with drug use, call Shawn today at 616-438-6719. He can get you the resources you need to say no to drugs. He can help you get the assistance you may need during your struggles with drug abuse. If you are facing a crime, Shawn can get you outstanding results. Please feel free to check out the resource below if you are having problems with drug and alcohol abuse.

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