Parent Alert April 2021 | How & Why to Keep it Substance Free: Celebrating Graduation During Covid-19

Parent Alert | April 2021
How & Why to Keep it Substance Free:

Celebrating Graduation During Covid-19

Your graduating Senior deserves to celebrate!
Going to school during a global pandemic is no easy task. But our youth have risen to the challenge, and we couldn’t be prouder.

Remember, High School graduation is a rite of passage, but underage alcohol use isn’t. (And providing youth with alcohol at a party can have legal implications for you, too.)

The risks of alcohol use are particularly high for youth. Especially during the 16-20 age range, teenagers’ brains undergo significant developments.

Youth also go through drastic transitions as they mature into adulthood, and these experiences can leave them feeling emotionally vulnerable. We must encourage them to develop healthy relationships and habits to help them through these challenges.

Drinking is a greater risk for your teen than it is for you, and there are creative ways to celebrate graduation that do not involve alcohol.

Alcohol damages a teen's developing brain:

Brain development continues until around age 23.

Alcohol use...

  • Creates a higher likelihood for abusing other substances and developing a Substance Use Disorder
  • Increases impulsivity, decreases self-regulation
  • Diminishes memory and learning capacity
  • Initiates poorer decision-making and goal-planning skills
  • Limits ability to think about consequences
Drinking between ages 18-20 puts youth at the highest risk for Alcohol Use Disorder.
Safe celebration tips:

  • Outdoor: Non-contact games like corn hole, frisbee, or bocce ball
  • Indoor: Distanced games such as charades and Catch Phrase
  • Avoid buffet-style food, or use servers with gloves and masks
  • Serve bottled, non-alcoholic beverages
  • Provide themed face masks to party guests
  • Keep pens for signing guest book in "clean" and "dirty" cups
Parents Who Host, Lose the Most: Don’t be a party to teenage drinking was developed by Prevention Action Alliance.

For more resources about alcohol, visit their website:

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health or substance misuse, get help now: