High school graduation is an important milestone in a young person’s life, and the season is often marked with parties, outings, and other celebrations. During this time there are plenty of opportunities where teens may contemplate taking risks, especially drinking and drug use. At graduation time, teens may feel more pressure to celebrate by partying with illicit drugs, alcohol, or even prescription (Rx) drugs.
Over the last several decades, scientific understanding and knowledge of the dangers of underage drinking and substance use have increased substantially. Underage substance use is associated with various negative consequences for youth, and can affect and endanger the lives of those around them (SAMHSA).
Your teen may be graduating soon, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to let go. Your graduate needs you now just as much as ever. There are many ways to help keep your child safe and healthy:
- REINFORCE YOUR EXPECTATIONS.
- ENCOURAGE YOUR TEENS TO MAKE EACH MOMENT COUNT.
- PROVIDE SAFE ALTERNATIVES.
- BE AWARE AND ASK QUESTIONS.
- SET A GOOD EXAMPLE.
If your teen is heading off to college we recommend you read this article from the New York Times about the risks college Freshmen face.