Alcohol and drugs have always had an appeal towards younger audiences, because of the effects that they provide to the user and the culture of teenage rebellion; however, on a night like prom night, where everything is seemingly a blur, even without alcohol, things can take a turn for the worse if you do drink; it all depends on what you do to prevent the turn.
We see that kids fall ill to peer pressure and substance abuse at a young age, because as they grow older they want more and more independence from their parents because they´re shifting into adulthood. Although sometimes high schoolers can´t tell right from wrong and choose the right decision, we see that this is important because it´s a reoccurring issue throughout schools across the world, and sometimes it results in the death of a loved one or pain induced on one.
“A lot of wacky stuff that you wouldn’t expect can happen on prom night,” junior Jane Unger said. “Even if you’re really good friends with someone, they could pressure you into doing something that you don’t want to do in the heat of all of the fun. It can just come as a shock for a lot of people unfortunately.”
Psychology Today writes on March 28 of 2017 that Chrysler Group’s Road Ready Teens program and data from Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD) found that 74% of teens felt pressured from peers to drink alcohol on the night of prom, and since alcohol lowers a person’s reflexes, it makes their eyesight blurry and impairs their memory, and there could be drastic consequences if a pressured teen makes the decision to drink.
“Drinking while driving is a super serious issue,” sophomore Sofia Albini said, “and even though I’m only a sophomore without a license, I’m still going to prom, and it scares me that there could be a possibility that I could get hurt badly after it.”
Drinking while driving especially is detrimental to a person’s health and can even kill them. Alcoholics Anonymous states that 87% of teens said that their friends would be more likely to drive home drunk rather than catch a ride from a peer or family member. Even if you aren’t the one drinking, you can still be affected if someone who is drunk crashes into you or hurts you.
“I think that, even if you don’t drink, there are a lot of things that can happen as a cause of drinking whenever you’re not even the one doing it,” Unger said, “like drinking and driving can possibly kill someone which would obviously be horrible and scary. I would also think that date rape with drugging drinks and stuff like that is at a higher chance of happening whenever alcohol is in play. There are just a lot of dangers involved.”
The chance of crashing your car after drinking isn’t the only thing that could happen on prom night whenever you’re under the influence. A study surveying 12,843 high school students states that 14% of girls had sex on prom night and 53% of students reported drinking alcohol. Whenever the presence of hormones and alcohol are put together, there is a greater chance of sexual assault, because people are extremely impaired under the influence of alcohol.
A study conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported that 25% of teens reported getting alcohol from an adult or a parent. This might be bad for kids, but some parents argue it could be a safer alternative if you have an adult looking out for you. Parents can be a strong factor as to whether or not a kid will drink. Parents who make it clear that drinking is unacceptable make it to where kids are 80% less likely to drink in general, not just on prom night.
“It’s probably more likely than most people think that parents give their kids alcohol on prom night, because they want them to at least do it with supervision and in a safe environment,” junior Vanessa Nalutaaya said. “I think that prom will still be pretty great though, even with all of these risks.”
Prom can be a night where memories are made if you make the right decisions before, during, and after the event; although, it can also be something that can ruin an experience and a year for a person. So, we see that drinking has more negative effects than it does tangible positives outcomes, making it to where prom and alcohol, statistically do not mix.
Written by Eli Craddock