Graduation is a time to celebrate. But before your high school seniors begin their parties, take the time to talk with them about keeping events alcohol-free—it just may save a life.
A teenager’s brain is still developing, and it is very sensitive to alcohol’s effects on judgment and decision-making. Tragedies can—and do—happen, so underage drinking should not be a part of any end-of-year celebration.
If you are asked to explain the reasons behind your rules, you can describe the effects of alcohol on the human body:
When people drink alcohol, they may temporarily feel elated and happy, but they should not be fooled. As blood alcohol content rises, the effects on the body—and the potential risks—multiply.
Thousands of students are transported to the emergency room each year for alcohol overdoses, which occur when high levels of alcohol suppress the nervous and respiratory systems. Signs of this dangerous condition can include:
An alcohol overdose can lead to permanent brain damage or death, so a person showing any of these signs requires immediate medical attention. If you or your graduates notice any of these signs, don’t wait. Call 911 if you suspect an alcohol overdose.
Drinking to celebrate graduation can result in vandalism, arrests, sexual assaults, trips to the emergency room, alcohol-related traffic crashes, and worse. Drinking by teens can put them—and their friends—in real danger. Ask them to consider this question: Is that any way to celebrate?
It is critical to talk with your graduate because research shows that parents do make a difference. By serving as positive role models, talking to other parents and your teens, supervising parties to make sure no alcohol is served, and supporting alcohol-free school celebrations, you can help prevent a life-changing mistake.
Tell your graduate to play it safe and party right—and alcohol-free—at graduation. Because a well-deserved celebration shouldn’t end in tragedy.