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How to Deal With Underage Drinking At Prom

05/28/2015 07:48 EDT | Updated 05/28/2016 05:59 EDT
angela auclair via Getty Images

It's prom season and while we want our graduating teens to have fun -- we want them to be safe too. Check out these recent statistics highlighted by the Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse:

  • The average age at which Canadian youth start drinking alcohol in Canada was just 16.2 years of age in 2012. That's older than 15.6 years of age in 2004, but still significantly below the legal drinking age.

  • The average age at which Canadian youth start drinking alcohol in Canada was just 16.2 years of age in 2012. That's older than 15.6 years of age in 2004, but still significantly below the legal drinking age.

  • Overall, 41 per cent of all students in grades 7 to 12 in 2013 reported they'd consumed alcohol in the past year.

  • In addition, the older kids get, the more likely they are to have had a drink.

It's a simple truth that some teenagers will likely drink alcohol on prom night. This isn't a wise decision, and one I hope your teenager will never make. That's why I've created an entire video series to help parents navigate the challenges of preventing underage drinking. You can watch the first six episodes here:

What Parents Can Do to Keep Prom Safe:

  • Know where your teen will be throughout the evening, and ask them to map out their transportation plans in advance

  • Get the full details on prom night and related events from the school

  • Remind kids that underage drinking is illegal and you expect them to be law abiding

  • Discuss the dangers of drinking and driving with your teen

  • Encourage your teen to call you if they find themselves in a situation where they're with an intoxicated driver or are themselves too drunk to drive

  • Emphasize the importance of safe and happy endings

  • Never provide alcohol to teens at a party

  • Ensure your teen is prepared overcome peer pressure by helping them rehearse comfortable ways to say "no" if they're offered a drink at a party

What Teens Can Do to Keep Prom Safe

  • Never drink and drive, or ride with someone who has been drinking

  • Arrange for safe transportation well before prom night arrives

  • Know your parents can always pick you up, no matter what!

  • To avoid the dangers of peer pressure, choose to attend a party with friends who don't drink

  • Guard against consuming dangerous substances without your knowledge: never leave any beverage unattended at a party

  • Have a buddy system: stay with your friends and look out for each other

  • Make sure friends who have been drinking don't drive

Taking a few proactive steps can ensure all students have a safe and happy graduation season!

Alyson

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