How to stay safe and keep your sobriety first this holiday season

The holiday season is here and you will be spending a lot of time out of school for breaks. You may even attend many holiday gatherings and celebrations. Some of these parties will involve alcohol and you could be exposed to substance abuse. Here are some tips of how you can avoid peer pressure and stay safe during holiday break.

• Be honest with your parents about where you are going and what friends you will be with. If you don’t and you are in trouble, it will be harder for them to help you.

• Practice some responses if you are offered drugs or alcohol.

• Take your favorite nonalcoholic beverage to the party to keep your cup full. No one will offer you a drink because you already have one.

• Make a plan on how you will get home. Never get in the car with a driver that is under the influence.

• Many teens don’t call their parents for help because they don’t want to lose face with their friends. Create a text code with your parent such as “1-2-3” or a phrase such as “I’m getting the flu,”, which will alert them that you are in trouble or need a designated driver.

• If you see someone in need of medical attention at a party, don’t be afraid to call 991. You can save that person’s life. The Indiana Lifeline Law provides immunity for the crimes of public intoxication, minor possession, minor consumption, and minor transport to persons who reveal themselves to law enforcement while seeking medical assistance for a person suffering from an alcohol-related health emergency.

• Remember your network! Keep phone numbers of friends, family, counselors, and your sponsor that will be there to help if you need them.

If you feel that you might need additional support for your recovery during the holidays, or know someone who does, call an addiction professional at Fairbanks. To speak confidentially with an adolescent specialist, call 855.518.2501 or visit www.fairbankscd.org/teens.