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November 1984

About Alcoholism - Alcoholism Information, Research, and Treatment

How to Say No

Many of these items are contrary to AA philosophy. Their publication here does not mean that the Grapevine endorses or approves them; they are offered solely for your information.

Michael Winchester, director of Project PUSH (Prevention Using Student Help), feels that it's perfectly all right to teach kids to say no to alcohol, as well as other drugs. "The kids pick up on it right away," he says. "They like to be on the cutting edge, so that all of a sudden being straight becomes a kind of rebellion."

In Council Bluffs, Iowa, PUSH programs are peer-led, with older kids going into fifth and sixth grades and demonstrating refusal skills through role playing and skits. The slogan is "Tough Enough to Say No."

Winchester says that the kids intellectually are convinced that alcohol doesn't do you any good. "If the case against drinking a little is tenuous, the case for drinking at all is nonexistent. And the kids know it. They'll say, 'Maybe I can't give you a million reasons why you shouldn't drink that first beer, but you give me one good reason why you should.'"

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