Think BEFORE YOU drink

By admin
27 January 2014

Why some people choose to booze (even though they know it’s illegal until they turn 18th birthday!) and what you should do instead.

1 YOU’RE A STRESS POT

You’ve got big plans for the future but are also prone to stressing out about them. If you use booze as a way to relax and cope, you could be like Maddie (17) who’s juggling schoolwork, a part-time job and a hectic extramural timetable. “I drink on weekends to blow off steam,” she explains.

Find a better way to cope! Try going for a run or drink tea when you’re at home and need to chill. If all else fails think about all those plans you have . . . how much harder will they be to achieve with a hangover? “I realised studying on a Sunday after a big night isn’t possible when I failed an exam on Monday,” she says.

2 PEER PRESSURE

Friendships can cause some serious brain strain if you feel pressure to be cool all the time. Yes, it might seem like booze makes you happier or more outgoing but on the flipside it’s also much easier for things to get out of control, like they did for Grace (17) who was suspended from boarding school after bunking out one night with her friends.

“One of my friends drank too much and needed to go to hospital. The teachers had to pick us up and I was suspended.” Remember, if they’re true friends they’ll love you when you’re sober. Suggest other things you can do without alcohol, like going to movies or to a café for a coffee.

3 BEING REBELLIOUS

Fiona* (13) has watched her older brother break her parents’ rules by drinking for the past two years. “He expects me to cover for him. I get so scared for him but I don’t want to tell our parents,” she says. Booze can end in death so you need to check yourself before you wreck yourself. You don’t have to do something illegal to get your kicks – find another outlet for your energy, like playing in a band or kickboxing.

4 BECOMING A SOCIAL BUTTERFLY

Parties are the best but they may also mean you’re drinking every weekend. Let 16-year-old Kaitlin-Lee*’s story be your warning. “My best friend offered me a drink at a party and I got really funny and silly. At the next party I wanted to be that funny chick again so I drank. I got so wasted I weed in the garden and someone took a photo, which my ‘friend’ sent around.” Embarrassing.

5 GETTING YOUR FLIRT ON

Yes, being tipsy may give you confidence when flirting but you can end up seriously embarrassing yourself or have someone take advantage of you. “I really liked this guy,” Lerato* (15) says.  “But I went too far and ended up slurring my words and being a mess and he told my friends he thought I was desperate.” Treat going to a party as a chance to impress – not by getting so drunk you alienate your pals and lose half your possessions.

Signs you’ve overdone it

Headache, nausea and vomiting, shakiness, body aches

The repercussions

You can’t undo any of these if you’ve over-indulged: drunk driving, unsafe sex, impaired brain development, injury or even death.

- Nici de wet

Text credit: Dolly magazine

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