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Georgia Mae Lively

Staying above the influence

Images and messages about drugs and drinking are everywhere you look. You may think that pretty much everyone uses them. The truth is that many teens have the smarts and the courage to say “no.”

Just ask Georgia Mae. She’s a teen who makes her own decisions. She chooses to live above the influence of drugs and alcohol. Instead, she focuses on what she loves — singing, acting, and playing a variety of instruments. Read our interview with Georgia Mae to see what she has to say about drugs, alcohol, and dealing with peer pressure.

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How old are you?

I’m 17 and a senior in high school.

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What are your interests and hobbies?

I play ukulele, bass, and guitar. I also sing and act.

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To you, what does "being true to yourself" mean?

It means doing what makes me feel happy and safe, no matter what other people think I should do.

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Do your friends support you being you?

Yes. Unconditionally. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t continue to be friends. The ones who have tried to change me in the past are no longer my friends. I only keep people around who genuinely love me.

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Why do you choose to live above the influence? 

My main job right now is school. I’ll have plenty of time for alcohol later in life, when it’s actually legal for me to drink. Right now, it isn’t worthwhile for me to break the law when I have to worry about school and college applications.

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How do your hobbies and activities help you avoid alcohol and drugs?

They keep me busy. I spend so much time practicing, going to rehearsals, and doing homework that I honestly couldn’t fit an addiction into my schedule. I have worked with a lot of adult actors who have positively influenced me against doing drugs and alcohol. When I was 9, I actually got to work with an actress from “The Twilight Saga” who smoked like a chimney, and she told me never to smoke because it makes your teeth turn black and your hair fall out. It isn’t true, of course, but it stuck with me.

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Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve said “no” to drugs or alcohol?

I recently had a friend invite me to smoke pot with him at his house. I just told him I wasn’t into that sort of thing. He’s a good friend of mine whom I’ve known since freshman year, so he was cool about it. I don’t experience a lot of peer pressure from my friends.

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What are your tips for saying “no”?

If you don’t want to do it, say you don’t want to do it. You should never do things that make you feel uncomfortable and unsafe. People who make you feel bad about your personal health choices are not worth being around. Anyone who pressures you to do something dangerous that you don’t want to do isn’t really your friend.

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Do you have any advice for dealing with peer pressure?

Your peers don’t know everything, especially in high school. So maybe you tell one of them you don’t want to do drugs and they think you’re not cool, so what? In a couple of years, you never have to see that person again.

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Is there anything else you’d like girls to know about saying “no” to drugs and alcohol?

It’s illegal and not worth jeopardizing your future over. Don’t let drugs and alcohol get in the way of the things you want.

By saying “No!” to drugs and alcohol, you’re saying “Yes!” to your health. Visit our Drugs, Alcohol, and Smoking section on to learn more. You can also check out the Above the Influence website for tips and advice on dealing with negative pressures and influences.

Content last reviewed December 01, 2014
Page last updated December 01, 2014

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health.