How to Spot Abuse During Prom Season

group of teenagers going to the prom

Few events are more exciting in the life of a young person than prom night. For many teens, the anticipation starts building many months or perhaps even years before the date of the prom, and it quickly builds to a crescendo in the weeks leading up to the night of the dance. Teens get absorbed in finding their ideal date, choosing a dress or tuxedo, looking forward to riding in a limousine and planning the perfect night out. As exciting as the prom may be for the teens who are planning on attending, it is often a subject of great worry and trepidation for their parents.

Among the many causes of concern, there is the very real chance that your child may end up drinking or using drugs on the night of the prom. Peer pressure and the desire to fit in are perhaps never stronger than on prom night, and these factors are only compounded by the atmosphere of a “special night” which seems to provide an excuse to cut loose and do something which the would not normally do.

The decision to drink or get high, however, could easily have tragic consequences for your teen. He or she could be arrested on alcohol- or drug-related charges could be involved in a date-rape incident, or could be injured or killed in a drunk driving accident. While most teens make it through the prom safely, a few are not so fortunate.

A recent report published by the American Medical Association cites alcohol as being a factor in 40 percent of teen traffic crashes during prom season and two-thirds of sexual assaults during the same period. As the parent of a teenager, you always worry about drug and alcohol use, but you are justified in experiencing an even greater level of concern when prom night is approaching.

Narconon Lists Out Signs That Indicate Drug Use

Fortunately, there are several signs which you can watch for which may indicate that your teen is planning to drink or use drugs before, during or after the prom:

  • Your teen is making plans to attend a party after the prom
  • You notice that your teen is bringing a bag along which may be used to transport bottles of alcohol
  • Your teen is speaking in hushed tones when discussing the event with friends or is otherwise being secretive regarding the topic
  • You notice that alcohol is missing from your own liquor cabinet at home
  • Your teen is planning to chip in with friends to rent a limousine
  • Your teen wants to rent a hotel room to stay in with friends after the dance

Talk About Drugs and Alcohol Before Prom Night

Even if you do not notice any of these signs, however, you should not assume that your teen will not be drinking or using drugs. It does not matter if your child has never previously gotten drunk or high; all it takes is a momentary decision on the big night and everything could change. We have found at Narconon that whether or not you have reason to suspect that your teen will be drinking or using drugs on the night of the prom, it is vital that you take the time beforehand to discuss the matter.

Talk about the many potential dangers, in addition to working out strategies for avoiding drugs and alcohol and even a backup plan for what to do in case he or she does end up drinking or getting high. Your number-one priority is getting your child home safely on prom night, and the most effective action you can take is to make plans ahead of time.



Sue Birkenshaw

Sue has worked in the addiction field with the Narconon network for three decades. She has developed and administered drug prevention programs worldwide and worked with numerous drug rehabilitation centers over the years. Sue is also a fine artist and painter, who enjoys traveling the world which continues to provide unlimited inspiration for her work. You can follow Sue on Twitter, or connect with her on LinkedIn.