Dr. Henry Paul, MD

Psychiatrist, Author and Educator


May 22nd, 2015

This is the weekend for many high school proms across the country. Teenagers are eagerly awaiting this “adult” night out with friends. The dress is bought, the tux is rented, tickets are bought and the perfect flowers are ordered. But, the unspoken about prom night is what I’m concerned about. Parents need to talk to their kids about staying safe. They need to know what their child’s plans are for prom. Who is driving, where they are going, and what they are doing after the prom.

16095004_mAll too often, parties are a part of prom night. With them come drinking and drugs, particularly marijuana, and inexperienced drivers. Make sure they understand the dangers of distracted, drugged and drunk driving. A sobering reminder to parents – teenagers, cars, texting, alcohol and drugs are a deadly mix. Here are some things to keep in mind and to discuss with your children about prom night.

  • First, remember teenagers never set-out to hurt their friends when they drive high or drunk, no one does. But the tragic truth is that drugged driving does kill!
  • Substance abuse is on the rise in the United States, particularly, amongst teens and young adults in their 20’s.
  • Statistically, teens think that driving drunk is much worse than driving high. Make sure they understand that “drugged” driving is as bad as drunk driving. Both are illegal, and both can be deadly.
  • Talk to your kids about driving high. Smoking pot is not a “rite of passage” for teenagers. The stakes are much too high!
  • While you’re at it – remind your teenagers that almost 6,000 people die each year due to distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Make sure they know – no texting and driving.
  • Educate yourself about the other dangers that are out there for teens. MOLLY, synthetic heroin, powdered caffeine, powdered alcohol (a powdered form of alcohol called Palcohol is now approved for sale in the United States), “skittle bowls” and Raves.
  • Remember, to enjoy prom night and all that comes with it for you and your child. Be sure your teen knows that they can call you no matter what! Most important – keep the lines of communication open. Happy (and safe) prom to all!

This blog is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical or psychiatric advice for individual conditions or treatment and does not substitute for a medical or psychiatric examination. A psychiatrist must make a determination about any treatment or prescription. Dr. Paul does not assume any responsibility or risk for the use of any information contained within this blog.

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