Senior Prom is a major event in a teenager’s life, it signifies the transition from high school to college or a full time job. A time when high-schoolers begin to see that first glimmer of freedom from parental supervision, because in a few short months they’ll be living away from home and becoming true adults.
Prom night is supposed to be a night to remember, full of posed photos, kings and queens and last dances, but for some the memory of prom is anything but good. 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, that they often make childish decisions, like drinking, and they choose prom to do it. At 16, 17 and 18 years old no one is mature enough to handle drinking alcohol, probably binge drinking at that, and the serious repercussions that come along with it.
Statistically, more than 1/3 of people under the age of 21 killed in alcohol related accidents died during prom and graduation season according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And most of the consumption is done at pre or after prom parties by booze supplied by parents. This does not make it ok!
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
Make good decisions at prom and don’t be the guy who throws up on the Vice Principal’s shoes the second he walks in the door or don’t be the girl who’s having their hair held while she’s face down in the toilet while her mascara runs down her cheeks.
Don’t ruin prom for yourself and everyone else. Dancing the night away is much more fun than getting your stomach pumped because you thought prom was a great time to explore how much booze it took for you to black out. After all, you’ve spent a lot of money on the tickets, the dress, the hair, the makeup, the mani-pedi, the heels, the flowers, the tux, and the transportation – parents must stop playing “best friend.”
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