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My friends are pressuring me to try prescription painkillers and/or heroin. What do I do?

It’s hard when friends ask you to do something you aren’t comfortable with. You may be tempted to give in so you’ll fit in or just to get them to stop bugging you about it. Don’t give in, especially on something that is so dangerous.

If you find you’re having to frequently say no, you should think about why these situations keep coming up and ways to avoid them. Many times people need to stop hanging out with people who are doing things that may damage their future.

Here are some plans you can use to help you say no when you feel pressured:

  1. Steer Clear.
    Stay away from the situation completely. Don’t be around a bad situation where bad things can happen.
  2. Say no.
    “No thanks.” “No way.” “I’m good.” “Not interested.” These are all good responses when offered prescription painkillers or heroin. Enough said. You don’t need to explain or defend your decision. Say no and move on.
  3. Walk away.
    Think of a safe place to go. Then just start walking away. Leave as quickly as you can and don’t look back.
  4. Ignore the pressure.
    Keep doing what you were doing before the person pressured you. Don’t make eye contact.
  5. Offer a better idea.
    Give an idea that you and your friends can do that’s a better alternative. Play video games, go see a movie, go shopping or bowling, or go for a walk at the park.
  6. Make an excuse.
    You don’t have to lie. Just come up with a real reason to not go along with your friend’s offer. “I need to get home.” “I told my parents I’d be home right away and I don’t want to get grounded.” “I told work I’d pick up an extra shift today.”
  7. Reverse the pressure.
    Turn the tables on your friend. Say “Why are you pressuring me?” or “If you were my friend you wouldn’t push me like this. Why don’t we do something else instead? Come on, let’s go play video games.”
  8. State the facts.
    Tell your friend the consequences of what they’re offering. “Why would I want to get high and not remember what happened?” “We could get suspended for skipping school.”

(From the Hip Code 411 Series, Centene Corporation and NCADA, 2016)

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