Drug use is rampant among college age students, and one place where the temptation is especially strong is in the party scene. After all, what makes a age (shorthand for day rage) so fun if it isn’t the readily available alcohol and drugs? But drug and alcohol abuse can have a severe negative impact on your academic and personal life, harming your focus, personal relationships, and commitment to your work. To avoid such an outcome, it’s important to resist peer pressure to use drugs or binge drink during your college years.
Partying can still be fun without drugs and alcohol, but it can take a lot of strength and self-confidence to stay sober. If you’re facing the next big party with trepidation, here are 4 strategies that can help you avoid temptation.
Know Your RIsk Factors
Some people have a harder time resisting drugs and alcohol and are more likely to suffer from addiction than others. While there are many reasons why this is the case, biology is one of the significant ones. People who come from a family with a history of drug addiction and alcoholism are more likely to struggle with addiction themselves. Knowing that you face a higher risk through no fault of your own, can help you stand firmer in your decision to abstain.
Drinking, particularly for college students who are already of age, is a common part of the college experience and it’s not necessary to avoid drinking completely, but rather it’s more important that you approach alcohol consumption responsibly. One way to do this is by setting a limit on the number of drinks you’ll have in the course of the night. Then you can pace yourself while you’re out. There are even apps available now that will help you keep track of how many drinks you have.
Use A Decoy
If you don’t want to drink or you’ve hit your limit for the night, one way you can avoid having more drinks foisted on you is by holding asking for ginger ale in a champagne glass or drinking a dark soda that you can pass off as something like rum and coke. When it appears you’re drinking, friends are less likely to pressure you into another drink.
Be The Designated Driver
If you have friends you enjoy spending time with, but don’t want to drink or do drugs with them, volunteer to be the designated driver. This is an important role that keeps everyone safe and also helps the whole group to avoid breaking the law. When you put yourself in the position of designated driver, you’re more likely to be supported by your peers for your decision to skips the drugs or alcohol.
While it may feel like all of your peers in college are drinking or using drugs, this perception isn’t true. There are many other young people who choose to be substance free. If this commitment is especially important to you, your campus may even have substance free housing. This can help you build a sober social group, as well.
Ultimately, remember that you can have fun without drugs and alcohol. Being with friends, hitting the dance floor, or having a night on the town are all just as fun when sober, or maybe even more fun because you’ll be able to relive the memories in the morning.