In this post we will be discussing some of the female sex and drug related issues and their possible solutions.

One of the best things about being a teenager is when you start to have a social life. Making friends and spending time with them is an important part of your development.

However, you need to approach social situations in your teens with some caution and awareness, so this section discusses sex, drugs, alcohol and online gaming. It’s good to be armed with information on these things so that you have the tools on hand to be in control of tricky situations.

When discussing big subjects like sex, drugs and alcohol, peer pressure becomes an issue. There will be times over the next few years when the people around you will be doing things that should come with a warning label and you’ll need the knowledge, the confidence and the courage to know when it’s time to say ‘no thanks – it’s not for me!’

OK, the facts: it’s illegal to buy or be bought alcohol before the age of 18. If you drink alcohol when you are young and not used to it, it can be horribly easy to lose sense of what’s going on around you. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions and weakens your ability to make sound judgements. You can say things you regret, do things you regret or even get hurt because you misjudge something as simple as walking downstairs or crossing the road.


drugs photo

Drugs There are lots of illegal drugs around now, all with side effects ranging from bad to fatal. Even so-called ‘soft’ drugs like cannabis are tough on your health, and there is always a likelihood that illegal drugs may be contaminated with other dangerous chemicals. Drugs give you a ‘high’ (usually followed by longer ‘low’ state) which is why people take them again – and get into a vicious spiral of need. In a nutshell, resist any temptation to take illegal drugs at all costs. Another thing you need to look out for is that new underground street drugs appear on the scene all the time. These may not yet be ‘illegal’ (because the law hasn’t caught up with them yet) but they could seriously harm you – beware! As a rule of thumb, AVOID DRUGS at all costs!


The age of consent to have sex in the UK is 16. The law isn’t there to make life difficult, it’s there to protect you. Once you reach the age of consent never feel pressurised to have sex and never risk unprotected sex. Aside from an unplanned pregnancy, this can put you at risk of catching an STI – a sexually transmitted infection. Some STIs can be treated if detected early, but others can have long term implications on everything from your overall health to your future fertility.

Online gaming

online gaming problem

Aside from age certification on individual games, there are no specific age rules that apply to online gaming, but you need to be aware that it can be addictive and has been shown to encourage antisocial or violent behaviour in some cases. Stick to the games appropriate to your age and make sure you have a life offline too!

It happened to me

From the age of 14 I’ve been in rock bands. I’ve started my own, I’ve played in other people’s bands and I’ve written songs. I love the friendships that develop when you’re working closely with a group of kids who are passionate about something. I formed close friendships with the other girls, especially when we started playing gigs – but there was a problem. One of the older girls smoked and I hated it. My gran died as a result of having smoked all her life and everything I’d been told about smoking just made me feel sick! She didn’t suggest I join in, but after a great gig one night, she lit up and offered me a smoke. I realised straight away that it was cannabis because of the unusual smell. I really liked and respected this girl and wanted her to like me, so saying no was incredibly hard but I’m the youngest in the group anyway and I didn’t want to be seen as a baby. As soon as I said the words ‘No thanks’ I was sure my social status had nose-dived. I thought I’d probably messed things up for myself with the band, but to my relief the girl just accepted it. I didn’t understand it at the time but it was as if, by being so sure of my decision, I had shown some part of my character that she liked. Since then she hasn’t offered it to me again. I’m still in a rock band, I still have friends and I’ve also stayed true to myself.

I Started Smoking And Now I Can’t Stop!

A group of us started smoking during breaks at school. I don’t particularly like it but it’s part of being ‘in’ with this great group of girls. Now I smoke every day, but my clothes and hair smell and when I had a cold a while back my chest hurt and it took 3 weeks for my cough to go. I know smoking will affect my health more and more, but I’m worried now because I don’t think I can stop. Please help!

Nicola, 15

Answer And Solution

You know already that smoking is an awful habit, but did you know that it’s also illegal under the age of 16? In the short term it makes you smell bad, it can stain your teeth and fingers and make your skin age prematurely. Longer term it can lead to problems with breathing, such as emphysema or worse, lung cancer. Quitting smoking can seem a pretty daunting task but at your age it’s more of a mental obstacle than a physical one. Cigarettes contain nicotine which is physically addictive. When you stop smoking it’s nicotine withdrawal that makes you crave a cigarette. The good news is that it only takes two weeks of not smoking for the nicotine to leave your system. What’s harder to overcome is the psychological need to smoke. My advice is to visit your GP or local NHS Stop Smoking support service. They can offer you advice on how to stop smoking for good!

Another Problem – My friends and I drink every day after school. What can I do?

For the last few months my friends and I have been drinking cider or beer after school. We usually meet up with a group of boys from school on the local sports field. It was fun at first because we used to laugh a lot and I’d work up the courage to chat to some of the boys. Recently though, I worry that it’s becoming a habit and could get serious. Last week I was sick on my school uniform and had to hide it from my mum, and another time I fell asleep alone on the sports field and got home at about 9.30pm! I’m starting to wake up with headaches in the mornings and feel sick at the idea of drinking again, but it has become such a part of my social life now that I’m worried if I stopped I wouldn’t be part of the group anymore. What should I do?

Solution –

Your letter highlights just how easy it is to go from experimenting with alcohol to it becoming a central feature in your life. Being sick and losing track of time from drinking are signs that you need to get help – and fast. Aside from the danger you’re putting yourself in, it’s worth bearing in mind that no one from the group looked out for you when you were out solate, so you need to ask yourself whether these people are your real friends or not. The reason you feel stuck in this pattern of behaviour is ultimately down to peer pressure. But you can (and should) make a different choice. First tell your parents what has happened and ask them for help. Then make some excuses as to why you can’t meet up with this crowd after school for a week or so to break the pattern. Join a new club and generally try your best to mix with a new crowd. There are lots of people you can spend time with whose social life doesn’t revolve around alcohol. Who knows, there may be other members of the group who follow your example – so you may not lose as much as you think.