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Approximately 300 teens have died in alcohol-related traffic accidents during prom weekends over the past several years, according to the NHTSA.

Communities all over New York State are doing great activities to keep their teens safe and healthy during prom and graduation season. What can your community do? The possibilities are only limited by your imagination, but don’t feel like you must reinvent the wheel. Here are some activities/strategies that your community can do to prevent underage drinking and drug use during prom and graduation season (or the whole year through).

School Policies

There are numerous policies that schools can put into place that will promote healthy behavior by teens attending prom. From mandatory parent forums, required bus rides, and the use of breathalyzers, schools can implement proactive policies that help protect kids.

 Pre-Prom Events

Activities held right before the prom are a way to prevent “pre-gaming” by the teens going to prom. Some substance use prevention coalitions and prevention providers make pre-prom festivities into red carpet events. Local businesses can donate the red carpet, swag bags, velvet ropes and media time. Once inside, coalitions can provide information for parents, food, a make-up touch-up station, and a banner for the seniors to sign.

 Social Host laws: Local Host Ordinance – Hold adults accountable for underage drinking that takes place in their home or on their property.

 After Prom Parties

Many coalitions and school districts organize after prom parties as a way to keep teens safe.  After prom parties can be held at schools, indoor water parks, YMCAs, churches, etc., wherever there is space for a lot of teens.  Some of the activities that are popular at after prom parties are photo booths, inflatable obstacle courses, swimming, magicians, comedy shows, movie nights, talent shows or music performances by students…you name it!

 All Night Graduation Party

Start a new senior class tradition, an all-night alcohol and drug free party after graduation! You’ll have to plan a night of entertainment to keep these high-energy young people busy, but what a memory – of a safe, entertaining, fun night with friends and teachers - they’ll have to take with them on their next adventure, whatever that may be.