Alcohol, teens make for a bad combination

College graduations are well under way, with high school commencements coming in the next several weeks.

For high school students, it is a time to celebrate as they leave one part of their lives and enter another.

It also is a time to use common sense when hosting graduation parties.

Alcohol and graduation parties just don’t mix.

The headlines were filled during the past year with examples of what can happen when teenagers drink and the possible resulting trouble.

Parents preach to their children about alcohol use, and especially when they or their friends will be behind the wheel of a car.

Graduates may pressure parents to offer beer or other alcoholic drinks at the party, and parents also will be asked to look the other way during the party as graduates and their friends help themselves to a couple cold ones from the keg or a few shots from the bottle.

Parents need to know the law is very clear about supplying alcohol to anyone under the legal age.

The number of parents providing alcohol to teens is small. The majority of parents use common sense and refuse to allow alcohol at graduation parties.

Underage drinking is one of the leading causes of death for teenagers – car accidents. Underage alcohol use also is linked to two-thirds of all sexual assaults, date rapes of teens and increases the chance of sexually transmitted diseases.

Lives can be forever changed by the immature decisions made by teens under the influence

Parents need to make it clear the party will be alcohol-free – even for the adults.

Parents also need to talk to their children about attending other graduation parties. Find out who is hosting, if alcohol will be available, who is invited and how many adults will be present. Also, have discussions with your kids about what to do if they are at a party with alcohol present.

High school graduation parties are a celebration of a big event in a teens’ life.

Alcohol and teens don’t mix.