What should I tell my teenager about alcohol and parties?

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Charles J. Sophy, MD
Adolescent Medicine

Review “party safety smarts” with your teen which she or he needs to know.

Keep in mind that this information does not mean you’re giving your teen permission to have sex, to drink, etc. You’re giving him a back-up plan to keep him or her safe in “just in case” scenarios.

Here are a few things you might consider reviewing with your teen:

  • Always watch your drink being made. Never drink from an open container. 
  • Keep your drink in your hands at all times. Date rape drugs are part of the bad party scene. Teach the drink rule: “Put it down, don’t pick it up.” Emphasize on “don’t pass your drink or take a drink from someone.”
  • Teaching a few peer pressure strategies for a party is always helpful, such as, how to gracefully “lose” a drink, pretend to sip, or the “gentle spill.”
  • If you feel funny, nauseous, don’t wait to get help. Tell a friend to help you. 
  • Text the parent or responsible adult. Call a taxi. Dial 911. Always leave your address with dispatcher or friend.
Michele Borba
Psychology
Review party and drinking safety. No matter how hard schools try, alcohol seems to find its way to a prom or an after-prom party.

So review “party safety smarts” with your teen which she or he needs to know anyway. (These are critical lessons our teens will need when leaving home.)

Keep in mind that this information does not mean you’re giving your teen permission to have sex, to drink, etc. You’re giving him a back-up plan to keep him or her safe in “just in case” scenarios.

You can teach a teen to hold an ice water with cubes and it may appear like a drink. Giving an excuse, “I have a headache” also works. “I don’t drink” is the goldmine comment but most teens say that one is hard.

Here are a few things you might consider reviewing with your teen:
  • Always watch your drink being made. Never drink from an open container.
  • Keep your drink in your hands at all times. Date rape drugs are part of the bad party scene. Teach the drink rule: “Put it down, don’t pick it up.” Stress that this is the one time you don’t want your kid to share: don’t pass your drink or take a drink from someone. Teaching a few peer pressure strategies for a party are always helpful like how to gracefully “lose” a drink, pretend to sip, or the “gentle spill” (I still use that one).
  • If you feel funny, nauseous, don’t wait to get help. Tell a friend to help you. Text the parent or responsible adult. Call a taxi. Dial 911. Always leave your address with dispatcher or friend. Don’t leave a friend.

Continue Learning about Drug, Alcohol, Tobacco Use In Teens

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.