Prom is a night that almost all teens look forward to, and yet it can end in disaster for some with consequences that are far-reaching. Staying safe on prom night isn’t just a matter of luck. There are smart steps and good choices that all teens can make to ensure they have a great time with no regrets.If you are anticipating your prom night, know what to do to be safe and healthy and to have fun.
Don’t Drink Alcohol
This seems like a no-brainer, considering students attending prom are underage, but we all know that teens drink. Prom is a particularly popular night to drink, and while most schools are careful to keepalcohol out of the event, pre- and after-party drinking happens often. If you want to stay safe and avoid becoming a statistic, keep your wits about you and stay sober. Underage drinking is known to increase the risk of suicide, violence, risky sexual behaviors and accidents that cause either fatal or nonfatal injuries. You may choose to drink and not experience immediate consequences, but why take that chance? Just don’t do it, even if it seems like everyone else is. The same goes for smoking and using drugs. Using any of these substances can result in substance addiction later on.
Do Not Get in a Car With a Drunk Driver
Another area in which peer pressure can come into play is when someone else has been drinking and he is your ride. It may even be your date, which adds pressure. You don’t have to get into the car with anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable. Don’t let him convince you that he’s fine to drive or that heonly had one drink. If someone has been drinking, do not get in the car. It isn’t worth the risk. Yourparents would much rather you awaken them in the middle of the night for a ride than have you get in that car.
Be Aware of Dating Violence
Dating violence is a real issue and many teens become victims. If you’re going with a date to the prom, make sure you have a plan for how you will handle any pressure to be intimate. Know what your boundaries are and make sure he knows them as well. You might think your date would never hurt you, but sometimes the line between consent and non-consent gets blurry, especially if drinking is involved. Set clear limits and stick to them. It’s also important at parties to be sure that you don’t accept a drink you didn’t pour for yourself or leave your drink unattended.
Use the Buddy System
Whether you are going to the prom with a date or with a group of friends, you are probably planning togo to after-prom parties. These can be fun, but there is always the possibility of sexual violence or assault. Use the buddy system to protect you and your friends. Pair up and make sure you and your friend stick together for the entire night. Be responsible for each other and step in if something is happening that doesn’t seem right. You should each ensure that the other gets home safely. Prom is a memorable high school experience and everyone should have the chance to enjoy it safely. You can’t make choices for other people or control how they behave at prom and at after-parties, but you can be responsible for yourself. Make smart choices, plan ahead, stay sober and stick with a friend. If you can do these things, you’ll have a great time and a night full of memories.