Teens & Parties

Alcohol and drugs can have an immediate effect on blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. They can affect a person's awareness of a low blood glucose as well as her ability to treat a low blood glucose.

People who have consumed alcohol often say the feeling is similar to a low blood glucose — making it hard to tell the difference and making it very dangerous.

Here are some tips to help you and your child be prepared for situations where he's offered alcohol, cigarettes or drugs.

These tips should also be helpful as your child transitions into adulthood when it becomes legal to drink (age 21) or is frequently around others who do (e.g., at college).

  • Ask your diabetes care team to discuss with your teen the affects of alcohol, cigarettes and drugs on diabetes.
  • Ask your teen about their conversation with the diabetes care team. Be sure they understand what happens when a person with diabetes drinks alcohol, or uses tobacco or drugs.
  • Discuss peer pressure. Share ways you handled these kinds of issues as a teen.
  • Listen closely and try not to sound like you're nagging.
  • Remind your teen to always have her diabetes supplies and wear a medical ID bracelet or necklace.

When offered an alcoholic drink or cigarettes, here are some ways your teen can politely decline.

  • No, thanks – I'm cool!
  • No, thanks – I'm the designated driver!
  • No, thanks – I have diabetes and if I drink or smoke, it can make me really sick. I'd rather be here the whole night and have a good time than have to leave early!
  • Last Reviewed: July 31, 2013
  • Last Edited: May 13, 2014

Articles from Diabetes Forecast® magazine:

Diabetes Forecast