CVDAPC NEWS » Suzy Jacobs

Don’t drink.
Don’t drink and drive.
Don’t get in a car with someone who’s been drinking.

This includes pot and every other drug.

Stay with your friends and take care of each other.

Text me the signal word and I’ll call. I’ll come and get you, no questions asked.

You will be punished if you don’t call me and you put yourself in danger.

I love you! Have fun!

As your teen prepares for prom (and graduation), you’ve probably said these things as you shop for the right outfit. And you should because the Surgeon General estimates 5,000 youth under 21 lose their lives in alcohol-related crashes. And, according to MADD, this season is dangerous for teens. Parental expectations and approval are powerful antidotes to peer pressure. Here are some ways to combat risky behavior:

• Communicate your expectations for them clearly, calmly, respectfully, adamantly.

• Make sure you know your child’s plans.

• Know their friends and their friends’ parents and get contact information.

• Don’t rent hotel rooms for them.

• They can call 911 if someone’s in trouble.

• Stay up until they come home.

Are you hosting an end of the year party? Don’t allow teens to drink illegally in your home. Lock up your alcohol, don’t allow kids to bring any in, and set rules about coming-and-going. Be realistic; even “good” kids test limits so remain vigilant. Why not invite other “cool” parents over to share in the chaperone duties. Or look for parties in public places like Prom Plus.

This free, post-prom, kid-centric celebration lasts until 5 a.m.

Prom (and graduation) is about building memories, not police records. Heavy handed? You bet, but it’s your responsibility to think about the future. Kids aren’t wired that way.

Please, don’t be your kid’s friend. As you can see by the people around them, they have friends. What they need is a parent.

Take lots of pictures!

Suzy Jacobs is the executive director of the Crescenta Valley Drug & Alcohol Prevention Coalition. You can reach her at