Summer Concerts and Teenage Substance Use

P-CASAThe summer is an exciting season of the year, allowing teens to enjoy their free time but for parents to as well. Lucky for us, we live in an area that’s so full of outdoor activities and events, there’s never a dull moment during the summertime – especially when it comes to summer concerts.

But summer concerts are one of the greatest opportunities for teens to sneak alcohol or use other drugs and many often wind up abusing it to the point of needing medical attention. Before you allow your teens to go to a concert with a group of friends, lay out some ground rules so your teens know you mean business.

Curfew

The first step to letting your teen know you’re serious about their safety is to set a strict curfew for nights like this. Depending on the timing of the concert, you should be able to justify perhaps a bit of a later curfew, but make it reasonable. Let them know the consequences if they don’t make it home in time.

Pick up

Speaking of getting home in time, dropping off and picking up should definately be a topic of conversation. Don’t be the parents who assume your children will be with a group of totally responsible friends. Be cautious and offer to drop off and pick up your teen, or work out the mass transit schedule with your child.

Call parents

This is the oldest trick in the book, calling other parents of your teen’s friends to find out what their plans are for the concert. Find out if there’s a parent in the group who has offered to drive to the concert, and get organized about who’s going to be there. There’s never going to be a fair way to make sure your teen isn’t drinking or using drugs, but by being an informed parent, you’ll be better equipped to deal with whatever happens next.

Offer to attend the concert

If you’re really concerned about what your teen might be doing at the concert, offer to attend the concert, even if you really don’t plan on it. This way, you can expect to see two types of reactions – afraid and angry, or totally cool. If your teen is cool about it, chances are they’re not planning on doing anything wrong. If they’re upset about it, you might have a problem on your hands.

Let them know they can call you

Most importantly, you want your teen to feel comfortable talking with you as a parent; regardless of the situation they’re in. Never tell your teen it is okay to drink illegally while underage or use other substances like marijuana or prescription drugs but let them know if they need help, you’ll be there. There is nothing more important than making your teen feel like they can confide in you without any judgment, so do exactly that.

Visit http://teens.drugabuse.gov/blog-categories/healthy-minds-and-bodies they have a great section on teens and substance use-and a post about summer concerts and festival!

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