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Talk with your teens about alcohol, drugs before prom and graduation.

Prom is just around the corner. Graduation season isn’t far behind. It’s an exciting time of year for Pierce County teens.

They want to celebrate. But as a parent, you know it’s your job to make sure the celebrations are safe and healthy. 

Talking with your teens about alcohol and drugs can be hard, but it’s important. We’ve got some tips on how to chat with your kids about avoiding drinking and drugs during this fun time of year. 

Acknowledge the excitement! 

After a tough couple years, your kids naturally want to celebrate! Lots of planning, time and money goes into prom. Graduation is an even more important milestone, often marked with parties, outings and celebrations. 

Talk about how exciting this time is. Acknowledge it. Reflect on your own experience. Talks about drinking and drugs don’t have to be a lecture, especially with older kids. Remind them of the reasons to be excited—and ways to stay safe. 

Remember peer pressure and encourage a plan.

Teens want to fit in. Often, that means doing what their friends are doing. Nearly 10% of 10th graders report using alcohol in the last 30 days.   

As parents, acknowledge peer pressure is powerful.  

The best way to help protect your teens against peer pressure is to give them the tools they need ahead of time. Practice conversations that could come up. Get them ready to say “no” or whatever they’re comfortable with. 

Know the facts. 

Alcohol is the most widely used substance by young adults ages 12-20. According to the National Institute of Health, more than 4 million teens reported binge drinking at least once in the past month in 2019. 

Young people who start drinking before age 15 are:

  • Five times more likely to develop alcohol problems later in life.
  • Four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence.
  • Six times more likely to get in a physical fight right after drinking.

Teen drinking has serious health impacts. The months of April to July are the most dangerous months on the road for young adults, according to the Institute for Highway Safety. About 37% of car-related deaths in people ages 15-24 happen from April to July in Pierce County.  

Talk openly. 

Prom and graduation are fun times. Let’s keep them that way!

Parents are a huge influence on their kids. Before your kids head out the door to dance the night away, have a talk. Educate your children on the consequences of drinking too much and offer healthier choices

Keep the lines of communication open to keep prom and graduation safe and memorable.

Want to help prevent teen drug and alcohol use? Join the Pierce County Prevention Collaborative. Subscribe to the Your Reliable Source blog for the latest info from us.