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Don’t want another drink? You don’t need an excuse

Chances are your friends love a drink - but don’t let that pressure you to drink more than you want

If you’ve ever had a mate say, “Come on, why not?” when you turn down a drink, you’ll be well aware that peer pressure isn’t just something that happens in high school.

A report by VicHealth on the culture of alcohol in Victoria found that almost half of Victorians aged 16-29 feel obliged to drink when they’re out socialising with other drinkers. While most young people don’t actually intend to get drunk when they head out for the evening, they often feel pressure to go beyond their limits.

Enjoying a few drinks with friends can be nice way to socialise, relax and meet new people. But if you’ve had enough, you don’t need an excuse to stop. VicHealth’s No Excuse Needed campaign challenges the idea that you need to come up with a reason to refuse a drink in front of your mates. Drinking sensibly doesn’t make you “boring”; it makes you more in control. And it’s your decision to make.

So next time you don’t feel like another drink, instead of searching for an excuse (“I had a big one last night”/“I have so much to do in the morning”/“I’m taking medication and shouldn’t drink too much” – face it, we’ve all used those lines) remember:

• Moderate drinking is actually the norm. 61% of young Victorians enjoy drinking socially, but don’t go out intending to get drunk. You shouldn’t feel like you have to go overboard to fit in.

• Feeling pressured is very common. 42% of young Victorians feel pressured to drink in social situations. Chances are some of your friends (maybe even the very ones urging you to keep up with them) are feeling it too.

• Drinking can have harmful consequences. It’s not just about the nasty hangovers and potentially regrettable drunken behaviour. Alcohol causes nearly 3000 hospitalisations every year among young Victorians, and there is more than twice the number of alcohol related assaults among young Victorians compared to all Victorians.

Find out more at noexcuseneeded.com.au

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