Monsters & Critics / Dr. Damon Raskin

Prom Night Wisdom, Don’t Be In Such A Rush To Drink

April 17, 2015

‘…Extrication will be needed…” -Law Officer Falber in recorded scene of Prom night car accident


Drinking seems to be the universal right of passage and hallmark for many kids to show they’re heading into adulthood, or just to blow off steam and break the ice and ease social anxiety. But so many teens are simply not equipped emotionally or physically to handle the repercussions of alcohol, and as such they do not drink responsibly.

How many people have stories of excess from their youth that they hang their head in shame over? These people are the lucky ones, here to share their tales of not knowing any better.

The unlucky ones end up like this:

Senior Prom is that moment when it sinks in for high-schoolers, their true glimmer of freedom from parental supervision, because in a few short months they’ll be living away from home and taking on life and all the adult things they have been shielded from in their short lives.

Prom night is one event that has a build up like no other, except for perhaps a wedding night. According to the CDC, 70% of teens expect to drink on prom night.  Many, for the first time. Teenagers are in such a rush to grow up, and many times the date of the prom goer is very young, 15 or 16, and even then, 16, 17 and 18 years old people are not seasoned or able to handle drinking alcohol socially, let alone adhere to designated driver rules. Under-aged drinking most always leads to over use of alcohol and subsequently terrible accidents and even sexual assault.

Alcohol is the most commonly used and most irresponsibly handled drug among the youth in the United States.  Just because your teenager is going to prom doesn’t mean parents should take a back seat from their responsibilities. Keep lines of communication open, and talk to your children about the risks of drinking and ways to make it through prom sober.

The Discovery House Treatment Centers deals with drugs and alcohol abuse. Their experts have compiled a list for parents and teens to keep in mind.

Guidlines from The Discovery House :

  1. Peer Pressure – The worst excuse! Not everyone will be as smart as you. Some kids will decide to indulge in drinking and other drugs and try to get you to join in. Don’t be caught off guard and say “yes” to something you’ll regret. You might be teased but that is no reason to back down from your convictions.  Stand strong; respond with a firm “No,” they will soon stop asking and leave you alone.
  2. Think About the Social Consequences. We’re talking more than just a hangover here. With the amount of social media around today, you will be bombarded by reminders of your poor choices because it will be replayed on Instagram and Facebook and Snapchat videos and you can be sure that photos or memes of your worst moments will linger over you wherever you go. More importantly, that college you were recently accepted to – it’s not unheard of to have academic or athletic scholarships revoked.
  3. Be Aware of the Legal Consequences. Drunk driving is no joke for anyone, of any age. So when minors choose to drink on prom night, they’re not only putting themselves in danger, but they are putting everyone around them in danger. The combination of alcohol impaired judgment and a license are a deadly concoction.  Teens who drink on prom night are more likely to drink and drive and text.  Plus your teen can be a passenger in a car of someone who’s been drinking or be injured by another drunk driver or cause injury or death to another person. The CDC reports, underage drinking is responsible for 4,300 annual deaths among underage youth. You don’t want to be one of these statistics.
  4. You can still have a great time sober!  People follow by example – If you choose not to drink, chances are your friends may choose not to drink along with you. Make a plan for prom in advance, and stick to it! Prom is all about the memories, so instead of drinking the night away, plan a fun adventure or reminisce doing a favorite past-time, like going to the local diner you always went to after football games and order everything on the menu because this could be the last time you visit the traditional high school hangout, the last time you and all your friends are together…. You are all dressed up, take lots of pictures and laugh!

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