Lamoille Valley Proms are scheduled for May 14th, May 21st, and June 4th. Healthy Lamoille Valley’s Parent/Caregiver Workgroup would like to share these tips for a fun and safe evening filled with positive memories.

For Parents/Caregivers:
Help your teen have a well-planned evening. Talk through plans together before the night of the event. Ask your teen to let you know as plans change.

If your teen is going to an after-party know the location and address and confirm that an adult will be hosting and actively monitoring. Check in with the host and see how you might support the party (do they want snacks, an extra adult present, party favors?), then confirm that this will be a substance-free event.

If you are hosting the after-party, get other parents to help out. Set the expectation that this will be a substance-free event, including any adults present. Work with your teen to plan the gathering and provide fun treats and drinks that their friend group likes. Visit for more tips.

Recognize the needs of your teen and their friends and make a plan for them to get out of uncomfortable situations. Talk about the types of situations that might be uncomfortable for them: anxiety, illness, friend struggles, substances, sexual pressures, etc. Their plan could include friends helping friends, having a trusted chaperone at the prom or party, or texting you code word to let you know they need to come home. Make sure they know the Vermont State Police Anonymous tip line so they can get help for a friend that may need it – this could save a life. Tips can be submitted anonymously by texting VTIPS to 274637 (CRIMES).
Check in with them about road safety (see below for more on this).

Prom Night Tips for Students:
Adapted with permission from Patrick Henry High School, Minneapolis, MN

Be Prepared to Deal with the Pressure to use alcohol and other drugs. Not everyone will be as smart as you. There will be some who choose to drink or use drugs, and may try to encourage you to do the same. If you’re making the choice to stay safe and sober, stick to your plan, know how to say ‘no’, and be prepared to walk away. This way, you can avoid being caught off guard and saying yes to something you may regret later.

The Best Way to Say ‘No’ is to keep it short and sweet. Don’t try to make the other person feel bad because they are choosing to use – after all, that’s their choice. Instead, simply say, ‘No, thanks’ or ‘I’m all set, thanks’ and walk away if you feel uncomfortable. Saying things like, ‘Not right now’, or ‘Maybe later’, sends a message that you aren’t sure if you want to be sober, and you may be pressured again later on. Humor often works in these situations, and once the other person realizes you’re not going to join them, they’ll leave you alone.

Plan Something Fun and Stick to the Plan. Prom is all about memories and having fun with your friends. If you plan something exciting, off-the wall, and memorable, no one will want to leave to drink or use drugs. You can plan a game night, have a movie marathon, go out for coffee or a bite to eat, or even plan something silly like karaoke. By making firm plans, everyone will have a say and you’ll look forward to just being together. This will be worth far more than one night of bad choices.

Be a Leader for others to see. Just like peer pressure can work to get others to drink or use drugs, it can also work in a positive way. If you are having a blast, are the life of the party, AND you’re sober, others will take notice. Show them it’s possible, and actually better, to have a good time without being under the influence. You’ll have a great time knowing you stuck to your plan and still had a fun and memorable night, and you’ll wake up the next day with no regrets.

Stay with your Friends all night. Many go to proms as a group vs. with a singular date. It’s fine to go to a party the night of Prom. For a lot of kids, that’s part of the experience. Just be sure you and your friends take care of one another. Watch your drinks so no one can slip you something, and help each other stick to your plan to stay safe and sober. If something does happen, you’ll be in control of your senses and able to get home safe and sound. If someone at a party seems to need help – reach out and get them help. It’s better to have law enforcement and an ambulance arrive than to lose a friend. Tips may be submitted anonymously to the Vermont State Police Tip Line by texting keyword VTIPS to 274637 (CRIMES).

Drive Carefully! Weekends are the worst times to be on the road, ESPECIALLY the weekend of Prom. There are more drunk drivers at this time. Each year, about 1,900 young people under the age of 21 die in alcohol-related vehicle crashes. Even if you’re not driving while under the influence, it is important to be aware of other drivers who may be intoxicated. Be sure to drive carefully and know where you’re going. Have a charged cell phone available in case of an emergency, and take extra precautions like pausing for an extra second at red lights and stop signs.

We wish everyone a fun and safe prom event!