What Youth Should Know About Drugs

Most middle school students don’t use drugs, which is great! But experience has shown that those who do are more likely to experience problems at school, at home and with their friends. Here are some tips on how to stay away from drugs.

• Don’t be afraid to say no:  If someone is pressuring you to do something that’s not right for you, you have the right to say no, the right not to give a reason why, and the right to just walk away.

• Connect with your friends (your real friends) and avoid negative peer pressure:  Pay attention to who you are hanging out with.  If you are hanging out with a group where kids are drinking alcohol or using drugs, you may want to think about making some new friends. 

• Make connections with your parents or other adults:  As you grow up, having people you can talk to about your decisions about alcohol and drugs is very important. 

• Enjoy life and do what you love—Don’t add alcohol and drugs: Get out and get active in school and community activities such as music, sports, arts or a part-time job. Remember that what you do in middle school can affect your eligibility to play sports in high school.

• Follow the Family Rules about alcohol and drugs:  As you grow up and want to assume more control over your life, having the trust and respect of your parents is very important.  Don’t let alcohol and drugs come between you and your parents. 

• Get educated about alcohol and drugs:  You cannot rely on the myths and misconceptions that are out there among your friends and on the internet.  Your ability to make the right decisions includes getting educated.  And, as you learn, share what you are learning with your friends and your family.

• Plan ahead:  As you make plans for a party or going out with friends you need to plan ahead.  You need to protect yourself and be smart.

• Speak Out/Speak Up/Take Control:  Take responsibility for your life, your health and your safety.  Speak up about what alcohol and drugs are doing to your friends, your community and encourage others to do the same.

• Get help:  If you or someone you know is in trouble with alcohol or drugs, get help. Don’t wait. You don’t have to be alone.


• Research and experience show that the younger someone starts using alcohol and drugs, the greater the chance that they will become addicted. It is easy for occasional use to change to frequent use or constant use — that is addiction.

• As a teen you should be concerned about alcohol and all of the other drugs, legal and illegal. If it’s not legal and prescribed to you by your doctor—don’t use it.

• Marijuana use has very real health consequences, including impacting your lung capacity, your athletic performance and motivation, and possible drug addiction.

Choose health. Choose sports. Choose life!