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To Sam

drinking

me and my friends alwyas go out drinking and we are 13 and my mates keep passing out and going to hospital and i think that they are going to die because it keeps happening and i was drunk and left them so what if they got raped or something that wuld be my fault and my school and family know and i keep getting in trouble and they said im going to destroy my livers and body and get ill but my mates do it so i did

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there

Passing out from drinking alcohol can be dangerous and means that you are vulnerable as well. If someone is unconscious for any reason they need emergency help straight away as it’s possible that they could choke or that they could be harmed by someone else. You can get emergency help by dialling 999.

People might drink alcohol because they want to feel relaxed and confident but it can make you more likely to do risky things or to not care about your safety or how safe other people are. It can seem like fun at first and you might agree to do it once and then feel pressured to carry on when you don’t want to.

How drinking alcohol affects you can be very different to how it affects another person. This means that drinking the same amount as your friends might mean that you will be more or less drunk than they are. What seemed like a safe amount before might cause you to be unwell or to pass out on another day. It’s hard to predict how alcohol will affect you as it can depend on lots of different things.

There is no safe recommended amount of alcohol for under 18’s. It can affect your judgment and your ability to keep yourself safe as well as cause damage to your liver and other organs. Alcohol can also have a negative effect on your mental health which can sometimes be severe, especially if you already have a mental health problem like depression or anxiety. People who drink often can become tolerant to it which means they need to drink more to have the same effect.

In any situation that you feel uncomfortable it’s important to listen to your instincts. That could mean that you decide to leave an unsafe situation even if your friends don't agree. It can help to remember that you’re not responsible for what they are doing and you’re not responsible for keeping them safe. If you’re worried that something bad might happen to them it’s always okay to tell a trusted adult like your parent or carer, their parent or you should call 999 if someone needs urgent help.

It can be hard to say no when your friends are doing something, even when you feel worried that they might be in danger. You might be pressured or bullied to join in or scared that they’ll stop being friends with you if you don’t do what they are doing. But any friend who encourages or forces you to do something that’s harmful doesn’t have your best interests in mind and maybe isn’t the type of friend you really want to have in your life.

Thank you for your letter. You can get more advice and support by speaking to a counsellor at Childline.

Take care,

Sam

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