Do you and your friends enjoy drinking? It might be a cool thing to do with friends and helps you relax. But how is a hangover, a terrible accident or jail working out for your friends who drank and got caught?

Drinking may be cool among your friends, but how cool is it to say and do stupid things, to stumble around and pass out, or throw-up all over yourself or your date? How cool is bad breath and weight gain? Your chances of being raped, beat up or being a crime victim are also greater if you drink as a teen.

It takes about three hours for just 1 drink (that means 1 beer, 1 shot of whiskey or a small glass of wine) to leave the body. Nothing can speed up the process – not coffee, a cold shower or walking it off.

It’s also illegal to drink under age 21. How cool is getting arrested, having to pay a fine, perform community service, or be forced to attend some lame alcohol awareness class? Alcohol impairs judgment and loosens inhibitions. It gives your brain permission to do stupid things you wouldn’t even consider doing if sober.

Teenagers who start drinking before age 15 are six times more likely to have alcohol problems as adults, compared to those who start drinking at age 21 or older. You take the chance of becoming an adult alcoholic and that’s a pretty disgusting future: nobody wants you around, no job, no money, only other drunks for friends. There’s no future and no fun. The earlier you start drinking before age 21, the greater your chances of being an adult who drinks too much.

Drinking alcohol affects every organ in your body, including your brain. It increases your risk of getting cancer and other deadly diseases. These can make life as an adult a real bummer.

How cool is death? Alcohol contributes to the three leading causes of death among 12 to 20-year olds: suicide, murder and injury. Close to 5,000 teenagers die every year because they were drinking. Do you want to be the next statistic? Most of them die in car crashes; other from alcohol poisoning when they drink too much too quickly.

You’re in control. Make “no thanks” your choice. It’s that simple. Most (88%) of your friends, ages 12-17, do not drink and this number has been going down for 10 years.

But, if you or a friend need help because of alcohol, call this 24-hour toll-free helpline 1-800-662-4357.