It can be very difficult when you’re at a party with friends and everyone else is drinking. You can feel left out if you don’t want to drink. But alcohol affects everyone differently, and if you’re not used to drinking, you can feel out of control quite quickly.
Health professionals advise that if you’re under 15,you shouldn’t drink alcohol at all. This is because it can interfere with the normal development of organs like the brain, liver and bones, as well as affecting your hormones.
How alcohol affects your health explains what alcohol does to your body in the short term and over time. It tells you why you can experience a temporary high after having alcohol, and then feel really low.
When all eyes fall on you, you can feel a huge pressure to have a drink so you feel part of the group. 3 ways to deal with peer pressure has some good examples of things you can say in tricky situations like this.
Remember, real friends should listen and respect your decision. If you’re regularly feeling under pressure from your friends, you can always get in touch with your public health nurse (school nurse). They’ll talk to you and give you advice on what to do.
In a good friendship group, everyone’s decisions are respected and no-one forces anyone to do something they don’t want to do.
If you or your friends were to decide to go to a party like this, it’s good to be aware how much alcohol is in different drinks, including beer, wine, shots and alcopops. How much is safe to drink not only tells you how many units of alcohol there are in different drinks, but also gives you the recommended limits.
Respect is the main focus in this example. Your friend is respecting your decision not to drink on holiday, and you’re respecting your parents’ request that you don’t drink while you’re away.
If you or your friends do drink alcohol, there are some activities that you should avoid until the alcohol’s completely out of your system. 5 things to avoid after drinking alcohol explains more.
Whether you’re feeling low or not, drinking alcohol isn’t the way to make you feel better. If you’d like to talk to someone about how you’re feeling, go and see your public health nurse (school nurse) in school – they’ll listen to your concerns and give you some help. Low mood: Just the facts will help you identify with some of the symptoms.
It’s also important to think about the risks that come with drinking: 9 real life risks of drinking too much alcohol
Friends should be on hand to support you and, rather than encouraging you to drink to lift your mood, should be spending time with you to make sure you’re ok.