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Drugs & Health Blog

6 Tactful Tips for Resisting Peer Pressure To Use Drugs and Alcohol

This blog post is archived and is no longer being updated. For the latest content, please visit the main Drugs & Health Blog page.
The NIDA Blog Team

Even when you are confident in your decision not to use drugs or alcohol, it can be hard when it’s your friend who is offering.

A lot of times, a simple “no thanks” may be enough. But sometimes it’s not. It can get intense, especially if the people who want you to join in on a bad idea feel judged.

Here are a few tips that may come in handy.

1. Offer to be the designated driver. Get your friends home safely, and everyone will be glad you didn’t drink or take drugs.

2. If you’re on a sports team, you can say you are staying healthy to maximize your athletic performance—besides, no one would argue that a hangover would help you play your best.

Group of teen boys player soccer.

3. “I have to [study for a big test / go to a concert / visit my grandmother / babysit / march in a parade, etc.]. I can’t do that after a night of drinking/drugs.”

Group of teen girls in a marching band.

4. Keep a bottled drink like a soda or iced tea with you to drink at parties. People will be less likely to pressure you to drink alcohol if you’re already drinking something. If they still offer you something, just say, “I’m covered.”

Two teen girls drinking soda.

5. Find something to do so that you look busy. Get up and dance. Offer to DJ.

Teen girls dancing at a party.

6. When all else fails…blame your parents. They won’t mind! Explain that your parents are really strict, or that they'll check up on you when you get home.

A teen boy being scolded by his mother.

If your friends aren’t having it—then it’s a good time to find the door. Seriously. Nobody wants to leave the party or their friends, but if your friends won’t let you party without drugs, then it’s not going to be fun for you.

Sometimes these situations totally surprise you. But sometimes you know the party you're going to has alcohol or that people plan to do drugs at a concert. At times like that, asking yourself what you could do differently is key to not having to go through this every time.

How would you react if a classmate offered you drugs? Play this interactive game to find out.

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


This is soo helpful! I really loved reading this article, it made me feel amazing. Now I am more confident in my decision to not have drugs by peer pressure! Thank you soo much!
Wow,thank God for technology! I hope this site helps me everyday of my life. The facts are far more important just as the help to resist them. Im going to stop smoking weed and I have full confidence I can stop for good. If your out there reading this please take the time to reach out and pray for me. Thanks a lot!
good job bro
this is helpful i am doing this in school so it helps me alot thanks
a lot*
Just Avoid all drugs everywere
But when you not drinking with them, they will isolated you. I think the tip work good in once or two, but what if they keep asking you. What can you do if you really want to break with those "friends"
If you want to break from those "friends" you need to slowly back away from hanging out with them. Go check out school clubs that meet at lunch and invite those friends as a cover. Attend school events, try out for sports - have something to do. Don't hang out with them on the weekend. Remember - your environment is temporary and will change as get older.
If they isolate you, are they really your friends? Find people who are not interested in getting high on drugs, but high on life.
yo yo yo was up
Yo yo my dooooooooooooode savage thug swagggg
Yo yo my dooooooooooooode
Also ask them what they think about the subject make sure they know what there doing
I told my friend that I babysit and tutor. (I actually do) I politely turned down his offer. Plus, everyone knows I'm a stubborn girl. If I don't agree to something, It would be hard to sway me. So he left me alone and went somewhere else.
you go girl! good for you.
Nice Job mate!!!!
These are really helpful tips and I'm glad that now I know how to deal with rejecting it. I used to be afraid that they would keep pressuring me but these are GREAT excuses for not wanting to use drugs! :)
These are really helpful tips and I'm glad that now I know how to deal with rejecting it. I used to be afraid that they would keep pressuring me but these are GREAT excuses for not wanting to use drugs! :)
Some of these tips are really obvious, but some of them are really helpful too! I wouldn't have thought of just having another drink handy or using my parents as an excuse (probably because it seems like a lame excuse).
Keeping a bottled drink sounds really useful because it can help avoid a drunk person offer you a drink. If I ever need to, I will definitely use that tactic.
In my opinion, giving a convincing reason or blaming my parents would be the best way to resist peer pressure to use drugs or alcohol. My reasons would include doing homework or studying for a test and my parents would not mind if I held them responsible for my action, for there was a good reson behind it.
All of these things are excuses for not drinking, but I think it would be ok to just say you are not drinking because you don't want to. If your friends, or peers question that, then they don't have your best interest in mind and they are not your real friends.
I completely agree, though I would sometimes use these tips.
I think that the tips are good and they are very helpful
I have to agree with Simone. When your "friends"start to force you into doing something you are obviously uncomfortable with, then it is best to leave them and find new friends no matter how hard it gets. I myself am not good with making friends but what I have learned over the years is that you have to be observant when hanging out with a new crowd. Don't become too attached too quickly so that if you see any signs, you can back out early. In the case of your friends whom you have been together with for years, I guess its best to find new friends or convince them to stop these bad habits.
It's useful and impressive advise!
It's useful advise.
Avoid these people. The persons you hang out with must be worthy of your company. If they they want you to do drugs when you're with them, they're being selfish and do not want you for yourself. Leave them and don't hang out with them at all.
What I find interesting, is the people who have healthy thinking and want healthy bodies, need to excuse themselves to those who are weak-minded and have to follow-the-crowds. Stand up for who you are. Nice, but firm. Who cares what they think. If they don't hang out with you, they are not genuine friends. Find groups that do constructive things.
Very practical and useful tips. I am using same on many patients and they have been successful of leaving drugs.
Don't do drugs and anyone who pressures you is not your friend and might just be trying to get you into trouble. The excuses offered here are feeble responses to peer pressure.
The author of this article did an outstanding job with this. This is excellent materisl. Very practical, specific suggestions, cool and smooth vernacular... good job.
If you are at a party and someone needs medical attention, don't run...make the call. Many states have a Good Samaritan law that provides immunity to callers and those who stay in such situations. Parents, our children need to know that we will come and get them, no questions asked, when they are in these situations. Let them know that you will be there for them.
As parents if we are to be connected to our kid for the trust we want to get from them--remind them that you too were a teen with feeling, emotions, and a mind - just have a conversation without judgement,or control- remind them that the world is different when you were a teen and tha the players are a litle more slick, in their planning and only offer "stuff" when they are at an disadvantage.. Like know or getting TMI.
When I hung out with friends who were smoking marijuana and they passed it to me I would just pass it on and say that marijuana makes me forgetful and I needed to get all A's in my Calculus and Chemistry classes to get into medical school. And guess what? It paid off!
weed is bad it will end ur life so f u love urself dont do weed
hiya xx Frogspawnmama here, these tips really helped with my drug abuse and helped me get rid of my friends. thanks lovelies. ;)xox
I am doing a task and this helped me alot. Thanks
These are some of the smartest ideas I've ever seen....sweet!
Dis cite good it is
Trump hates Mexico but wants drugs out of america
everybody should learn to avoid drugs
stay away from drugs. taking them are like asking for death right there
That is how I know if people are drunk
I,m a little worried if a kid offers me and I decline because I don't think they would let me off knowing that I know what they are doing and can expose them. In a nutshell how am I supposed to refuse if i might be killed or badly injured by declining?

What? You’re afraid you’ll be hurt or killed if you don’t use drugs or alcohol? If this is true, you are definitely hanging out with the wrong kind of people. The first tip is to stay away from parties and social events where you’re pretty sure drugs and alcohol will be served. Make up any excuse you want. Second, if you’re offered something, be prepared with answers like these: “Not right now, thanks.” “No thanks, I have to drive home.” “I told myself I’m not using today.” “I’m not feeling well and plan to go home soon.” And then please leave the party. If you’re being bullied by friends for not using, please talk to an adult you trust for some strategies about how to shift your friendships. You might have to let go of some friendships, because they aren’t really your friends if they’re trying to force you to use drugs.

I would like to know some good things to say when someone (a youth I am mentoring) makes a general comment like: EVERYONE does drugs or has tried them. I am angry when people insist that I have. I have never smoked cigarettes, I don't and have never used drugs, in a year I might have 12oz of Alcohol (I am of age to drink). Other then saying, "not in my crowd" or you must be hanging out with the wrong crowd. What can I say?