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Senior Year of High School. A Time of Nostalgia, Excitement, Possibility, and Temptations.

Your teen may be graduating soon, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to let go.  From spring break to prom, senior trips to graduation day, there are plenty of opportunities where teens may consider taking risks, especially drinking and drug use.  Surveys show that 81% of high school seniors think marijuana would be fairly easy or very east to get; 85% think alcohol would be fairly easy or very east to get.  In the past month, 33% of seniors reported drinking alcohol; 22.5% reported smoking marijuana; 16% reported binge drinking (defined as five or more drinks in a row) in the past two weeks.*

Your teen needs you now just as much as ever.  There are many ways to help keep your teen safe and healthy.

  • Reinforce your expectations. Throughout their high school years, you’ve set rules and established the consequences for breaking them. Perhaps you’ve loosened up on a few rules, like curfew. But be clear-drinking or drug use remains unacceptable. Being an upperclassman has privileges, but it also has responsibilities.
  • Encourage your teens to make each moment count. Your teens only get one senior year. Let them know you don’t want them to miss out on things because of bad choices, like drinking or drug use. One bad choice could change their lives forever.
  • Provide safe alternatives. Parties abound during senior year. Plan chaperoned alcohol-free parties around prom and graduation. For teens staying home during spring break, volunteering and other community activities offer a safe and productive use of their free time.
  • Set a good example. Don’t let anyone convince you that it’s a good idea for teens to drink or use marijuana under your supervision. It sends the wrong message and may lead your teen to make other bad choices.

For more information, contact Gosnold’s Prevention Division at 508-540-2317 or visit their website at www.gosnold.org.

*Source: 2016 Monitoring the Future Survey, National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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