April 21, 2022
Courtesy of Carissa Anthony, MS
Prevention and Development Coordinator, Safe & Healthy Homewood Coalition
Spring is here, and there is a mix of angst and excitement in the air that can only mean one thing…Prom! We all want prom to be a memorable and positive experience for our children, but post-dance celebrations can be a time for risky behaviors and unhealthy choices. With careful planning, open communication, and appropriate monitoring, parents can ensure teens have fun and stay safe while making lasting memories with friends.
Tips for a Safe and Healthy Prom
- Tell your teen you love them and your main concern is their health and safety.
- Make sure they know you expect them to celebrate without alcohol or other drugs.
- Make sure they know you do not want them to ride with anyone that has been drinking or using other drugs.
- Discuss plans for post-dance celebrations. Call the host parents and ask questions about supervision. Make sure alcohol and other drugs will not be allowed.
- If you are hosting a post-dance celebration, call in reinforcements. Ask other parents to help chaperone. Set a clear policy of no alcohol or other drugs.
- Discuss risky situations that may arise and positive ways to handle them. Ask your teen to think of suggestions too. Together you can develop a plan, such as this X-Plan, that allows for a comfortable exit strategy in difficult or dangerous situations.
- Sign a contract with your teen that clearly states your expectations and your commitment to support them. Download a sample contract here.
- If you are using a limousine service, speak directly to the driver and discuss your expectations for a drug and alcohol free ride. Tell the driver you do not want any stops made on the way to and from the dance.
- Meet your teen when they return home.
- Talk to your teen about their evening. Compliment them on good choices they made.
- If they are impaired, do not let them go back out and assess to determine if medical assistance is needed.
Carissa Anthony is the Prevention and Development Coordinator for Homewood City Schools and serves as the Coordinator of the Safe & Healthy Homewood Coalition. She has over 20 years of experience in prevention.
Carissa grew up on a family farm in south Alabama. She received her Bachelors from Auburn University and Masters from Georgia State University in Professional Counseling. She began her career as a community educator with the University of Tennessee and then with the University of Florida. In 2002 she and her husband moved to Birmingham and Carissa became the Prevention Coordinator for Hoover City Schools and coordinated the Hoover Coalition, a youth drug prevention coalition. In 2004, while serving as the Coordinator of the Hoover Coalition, Carissa received an award from the Office of National Drug Control Policy, for the Coalition’s successful efforts in reducing youth substance use. In 2007 she was a special guest at a Presidential Press Conference held by President George W. Bush recognizing outstanding drug free community coalitions. Working at the local level, helping communities come together to support healthy youth development is Carissa’s life work and passion.
Carissa is married to John Anthony who is a Traffic Engineer with the City of Hoover. She has two lovely daughters and a very energetic golden retriever.