Teens

Guide to Staying Sober in the New School Year

Highschool students at lockers

As the lazy days of summer wind down, don’t let back-to-school excitement fool you or get the best of you.  Going back to school offers so many new exciting and fun opportunities, but it also offers challenges.  As you prepare to return to school and enter one grade higher, there’s necessary preparation.  What backpack to purchase? What first day of school outfit to wear? Should you drive, take the bus, or get dropped off?  The day quickly approaches and the nervous jitters kick in.  Who do I sit with?  Where do I go?  Do I have enough time to get to my locker then across the entire building on time for my next class?  Will I like my new teacher?  Will I make the team? Will I know anyone in my homeroom?

With new grades, new schools and certainly new friends, comes a sense of uncertainty. The best remedy for uncertainty is preparation and planning. Plan what you might say if someone offers you a drink or a drug.  Play out the scenarios in your head, or with a friend. You don’t have to have a drink or use, and there many “outs” you can choose from! Don’t be fooled by the discomfort of peer pressure.  Preparation helps. Here are some ideas to help you stay sober and rock your next school year!

Before you head to the next party, dance, or simply hang out with friends, give these a try:

  • Say, “No, thanks. I don’t drink.”  Plain and simple.
  • Say, “No, thanks. I am working out to try out for the team.  I need to be in my best shape.”  Sober people are healthier people!
  • Say “No, thanks. I am not feeling great. I have a headache (or choose another reasonable ailment that is a form of excuse).” This may be a little white lie, but in the grand scheme of life this is one time your parents would encourage fibbing.
  • Say “No, thanks, I am driving. I have to get my precious cargo home,” and wink at your awesome friends you rolled in with. They are so much more important than a beer or a joint!
  • Fake it.  Pour water in your cup or bottle/can.  Walk around with your same “safe” drink and have fun!  Just don’t put yours down and grab the wrong cup. This gives the illusion you are joining in the perceived fun but is an easy out.

Try these tactics and see what works for you!  Any of these will do the trick.  Stay sober and get home safely so you really can try out for the team, nail the test, meet awesome friends, go out on a date, wear that dress to the prom, make that touchdown, sing in that concert, follow your dreams! Here's to kicking off the next school year and nailing it!


If you or a loved one is struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction, we are here to help. Reach out to Mountainside by calling 888 833 4676.