How to Say “NO” to Drugs
Sheriff Fontoura Offers Young People Advice on How to Say “NO” to Drugs

As a smart kid, you’ve already made many smart decisions. You’ve surrounded yourself with smart friends who also make good choices. You stay away from situations where bad things are likely to happen, and you act in a way that lets everyone know that you’re sharp, strong and won’t be pushed around.

And then, no matter what you do…it happens at a friend’s house, a party or a school event. Someone out there will offer you a drink, a smoke, maybe even one of those funny little pills.
You don’t want it. You don’t want to be anywhere near it. But there you are and there it is.

How do you say “NO,” without looking stupid, without making a scene, and without making enemies?

A drink, some pot, a pill. You can’t always predict who will make the offer or where it will come from. But whether the situation is obvious or takes you by surprise, the best plan of action is to gather your friends and GET OUT OF THERE, if you can. If you can’t leave and somebody actually approaches you with something you don’t want, simply say, “NO THANKS.”

It doesn’t happen often, but it’s always possible that the person who puts you in this uncomfortable position is going to persist. When they do this, it’s for the same reason you’re feeling uncomfortable – they are afraid of being judged for the choice they’ve made and they want you to be more like them.

That’s why it’s important for you to keep up your refusal without challenging them or putting them on the defensive. This isn’t the time or place for that, especially if you want to avoid making a scene. So, if they keep after you, don’t preach and don’t attack their values.

Again, just say “NO THANKS.” If that doesn’t work, give them a common excuse, such as “Oh, I’ve been sick lately and don’t want to make it worse” or “Oh, I don’t have time now. I’m going somewhere to meet my family.” No one should have a problem with either of these explanations.

If the person is really annoying you and won’t listen to reason, you’re left with only one choice: SAY NOTHING AND WALK AWAY.