Children of parents who talk to their teens regularly about drugs are 42% less likely to use drugs than those who don't, yet only a quarter of teens report having these conversations.

Drugs and Peer Pressure

To identify ways to cope with peer and social pressure to use tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs.

Youths ages 14 to 18 increasingly are exposed to drugs in social situations and by association with older people for whom tobacco and alcohol is legal. Although they may have decided not to use drugs, they are still vulnerable.

Ask students to bring in songs that have a no-drug-use message. Listen to these songs in class and discuss the messages. Discuss some ways to refuse drugs from peers. Examples:

• Decide how you feel about the situation, and stand up for your opinion.
• Say no. Keep repeating it if necessary.
• Do not make excuses, Assert :'jur opinion.
• Recruit a friend to support your refusal. Role play the following situations:
• You are spending the night with a friend, your friend's parents are not home, and someone arrives with beer.
• Two friends go to a party, the driver gets drunk, and the friend is not old enough to drive.
• Your best friend is visiting, and your sister offers both of you some pills.
• You meet a friend at a fast-food restaurant and are offered beer and marijuana.
• You are at school and find that someone has put marijuana in your locker.

After each role play, discuss how students handled the situation. Was their approach effective? Ask students for alternative ways to handle the situation.

Have students write a song about refusing drugs from a friend or social acquaintance, or, have students write five great one-liners to be used to refuse drugs. Direct them to create at least two original one-liners; they may use famous quotes for the rest.

Songs with no-drug-use messages; books of quotations.

Teacher Tips
• Have students organize a presentation on peer refusal skills for younger students (example: grades 6-8).

• Suggest resources for famous quotes, such as Bartlett's Familiar Quotations and Five Thousand Quotations for All Occasions.

Learning to Live Drug-Free, A Curriculum Model for Prevention, U.S. Department of Education's Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program

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