Prom Season Prevention Start Talking

Category: Blog

Published: February 1, 2019 by Eric Klinger

Prom Season Prevention: Keep the Conversation Happening! 

 

Here at Unison Health, we believe there are always opportunities to have open, honest discussions with your children about the risks of drugs and alcohol — and the time leading up to prom night is certainly no exception. The State of Ohio offers some tips to help you start talking (and keep talking) to your kids about substance abuse. Here are some things to remember as you enter into these conversations around prom season.

Prom Season Prevention: Keep the Conversation Happening!

 

Here at Unison Health, we believe there are always opportunities to have open, honest discussions with your children about the risks of drugs and alcohol — and the time leading up to prom night is certainly no exception. The State of Ohio offers some tips to help you start talking (and keep talking) to your kids about substance abuse. Here are some things to remember as you enter into these conversations around prom season.

 

Things to Remember as You Talk to Teens about Drugs and Alcohol

 

Talk Frequently. Don’t wait until your teenager is on her way to the salon or trying to figure out how a cummerbund works to talk to them about their specific plans for prom night. Take time to hear what they’re planning in the weeks heading into the big night — who they’re going with, where they’re going, and whether or not they’ll feel pressured to use drugs or alcohol (nearly 75% say they will feel pressured!).

 

Show Interest. These aren’t conversations you want to have while you’re on your phone. Be in the moment and listen!

 

Be Careful What You Say. You know your kids, and you know what might set them off. Try not to sound judgmental, and allow them to be honest with you.

 

Be Careful How You Say It. Turning this discussion into an argument is only going to cause your children to close themselves off from you. Keep your head as you talk to them — because what they’re telling you might take a lot of courage.

 

Know the Facts about Drugs and Alcohol. For example, did you know many prescription pain meds are just as likely to cause an overdose as heroin? Facts like these can be very handy as you’re talking about the risks your kids might be facing. A little homework going into these talks can go a long way!

 

Be Respectful and Genuine. Listen closely to what they’re saying and take them seriously when they’re answering your questions.

 

They Talk. You Listen. If they express concerns that someone in their prom group is going to pressure them to use drugs or alcohol, let them talk and avoid the temptation to interrupt them. And instead of lecturing them, encourage them to come up with strategies they can use to avoid putting themselves at risk.

 

Scare Tactics Won’t Work. Prevention experts agree that overly dramatic pronouncements don’t get through to teenagers. Remember, these are people who have to be reminded not to run with scissors — danger means nothing to them. Also, prom is a new experience for them, so it’s never occurred to them that anything can go wrong. Again, listen to their real-life concerns and help them talk themselves through them.

 

Control Your Emotions. Your kids might say something you don’t want to hear. Roll with it, at least for them moment. Save your venting for when they’re off to the prom.

 

Take Advantage of Teachable Moments. Opportunities to talk openly and honestly about drugs and alcohol happen all the time. Hopefully, prom night will be the culmination of all those talks — the night when it all comes together, and you’re equipped to send your teen out for an evening they’ll remember all their lives. But even if you’ve never really had the big talk about drugs and alcohol, it’s never too late.

 

Remember, your children are listening to you — even when they don’t seem like they are — and your influence means the world to them.

 

Unison Health: Dedicated to Prevention. Committed to Care.

 

Unison Health is committed to the health and happiness of our area’s teenagers. That’s why we encourage parents to take an active role in keeping their children aware of the risks associated with drugs and alcohol. At the same time, we are there for young people who have fallen into the trap of addiction.

 

Unison Health offers a range of services for adolescent substance use disorders, all of which seek to provide a continuum of care that combines substance abuse treatment, behavioral health, and primary care to provide real solutions that give young people the power to move forward.