Prom and Graduation Party Dangers

say no

Many teens use prom night as an excuse to abuse drugs and alcohol.

As a parent would you ever put your signature on this permission slip?

An Underage Drinking Permission Slip
Because my son/daughter has told me he/she is not driving and that he/she can handle a few drinks, I give him/her permission to drink 12+ beers and/or up to 15 shots of liquor during the night. I am aware that because he/she is legally intoxicated he/she will probably get into a car driven by someone else that has been drinking and that he/she will be more likely to engage in unsafe or unwanted sex. I am also acknowledging that drunk kids sometimes take recreational drugs and get a little crazy. Please do not arrest him/her because that could hurt his/her future.
Signed…..Concerned Parent

It is highly unlikely that a parent would ever sign permission for their child to abuse alcohol and drugs but by looking the other way and not having important conversations they unwittingly have signed a permission slip that potentially makes their child the next statistic.

As we enter prom and graduation seasons the likelihood that your Staten Island teenager will be involved in a party scene or gathering that will put her or him at risk is high. Over 95% of Staten Island parents and caregivers report having family rules about alcohol use yet only 50% report having had a conversation with their children about alcohol risks and use.

On Staten Island, close to 1 in 3 youth report having used alcohol in the past month, with 15% reporting consuming more than 5 drinks on one occasion. The average age for first alcohol use is 12.7 years and of students who drink, one in three report getting alcohol from someone they know including parents and older siblings. The consequences of this are sobering.

Alcohol + Prescription Drugs = Fatal Mix

Our teenagers today have different drinking patterns than most parents. Today youth are more likely to drink liquor and distilled spirits over beer and more likely to binge drink. They are more likely to mix alcohol with medications (prescribed or misused). It is a different party world from when they were young.

Prom Nights+Alcohol=Dangerous Mix

Students have a right to enjoy an evening of prom dresses, tuxedos, flowers, music and good friends. It shouldn’t be an excuse to drink, use other drugs or put themselves and other in danger.

Parents, it isn’t the time to allow your child to drink ‘just this one time’ or host a pre-prom (or graduation) party where alcohol is allowed. Don’t look away if you think your child might be at a place where he/she can consume alcohol. BE the PARENT who sets and enforces limits. If nothing else makes sense remember that it is ILLEGAL for your teenager to possess any alcoholic beverage and it is a CRIME in New York State to provide alcohol to minors.

Consider what possible good can happen in a rented motel room far from home with only teens present? Parents need to be involved in knowing the prom plans. Check who is in the limousine. Call all other parents. Speak to limo driver AND Arizona Sedan company. Know the pre-prom party plan and call hosts. If you are the host, do NOT serve alcohol. Check back packs and water bottles. Lock up your own liquor. Speak with your child about your expectations and set consequences. Speak with other parents for a unified front.

Most of all BE AVAILABLE AT ALL TIMES. Teenagers need to feel that they can reach out to you when they are in a risky situation

For up to date information on community strategies to address youth substance abuse follow us on To request a parent workshop for your school or group please contact Adrienne Abbate at 718-226-0256 or [email protected].

Provided by Tackling Youth Substance Abuse (TYSA), a coalition of people and organizations who have come together for the sole purpose of decreasing youth substance abuse on Staten Island. It is a dynamic partnership of both private and non-profit organizations; city and state government agencies; philanthropists; parents, teachers and teens, many of whom have been working to combat alcohol and drug abuse for years. Staten Island doctors, pharmacists, law enforcement officials, drug treatment providers hospitals, educators and youth organizations are all working together to help one another, and the whole community, tackle youth substance abuse. TYSA is supported through the generous support of the Staten Island Foundation and a grant from Office of National Drug Policy Control. Click here to visit their website.