June 2017

Guiding Teens Toward Alcohol-Free Parties

Screenshot the NIH factsheet “Parents—Talk With Your High School Grads About Celebrating Safely”.

Are you a parent of a high school student? If so, have you talked with your teen about avoiding alcohol at celebrations like graduation? Research shows that talking with your child about the risks of drinking does make a difference.

Ask your teen to think about the potential consequences of drinking before they celebrate. You can help them prevent a life-changing mistake. Tragedies can—and do—happen. Teens who drink alcohol put themselves and their friends at risk. Drinking to celebrate can lead to alcohol-related traffic crashes, sexual assaults, trips to the emergency room, or worse.

Underage drinking shouldn’t be a part of any end-of-year celebration. If you’re hosting a party, tell guests you have a no-alcohol policy. Providing alcohol to minors is against the law in all 50 states in most circumstances.

Teach your child about the dangers of alcohol. Drinking lowers your inhibitions, impairs your ability to make sound decisions, and can cause loss of balance, slurred speech, and blurred vision. One of the most serious risks of teen drinking is an overdose. Without immediate medical care, an overdose can cause permanent brain damage or death.

For advice on how to speak with your teen, read NIH’s fact sheet “Parents—Talk With Your High School Grads About Celebrating Safely” at http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/GraduationFacts/graduationFact.htm