A Guide to Modern High School Parties, Tips for Parents and Teens

A Guide to Modern High School Parties, Tips for Parents and Teens

High school parties today are nothing like they were when you were a kid. I can say that with confidence, because I started high school ten years ago. I know what kids get up to, because a very short time ago, I was one. Today’s high school parties are essentially Roman orgies but with a wider variety of drugs.If that scares you, good! It’s supposed to! It’s especially important that you know what your child does at parties with New Year’s Eve literally right around the corner.


Six things your kid does/sees at the typical raucous party:

1.) Booze runs free and in quantities you can’t possibly imagine.

The booze you had to go out to the sticks and bribe a bootlegger for is now readily available for your underage drinker/child, whether it’s from a fake ID, a sympathetic older boyfriend or girlfriend, or a random stranger at a gas station. The easiest (and most common) scenario is that your seventeen-year-old honor student is dating a twenty-something frat boy who can easily walk in the liquor store and buy her and her many underage friends all the booze they can muster. Champagne is expensive; you can expect they’re buying something cheap and strong.


Booze is easy to come by

Another quick-fix for being underage is paying a stranger in a gas station parking lot to buy you some cheap beer. Not only is your child approaching a gas station stranger with reckless abandon, and giving them money for alcohol, but they’re exposing themselves to this person as gullible idiots. And their new gas station buddy, for all they—and you— know could be a rapist or an undercover/off-duty cop. Either way, your child is going to get in trouble. And it’s just flat-out dangerous for their safety, their reputations, and their future.

Another way to get alcohol is the fake ID. And it doesn’t have to be some big production like you’ve see in teen movies from the 80’s and 90’s when we were kids and things were dangerously fun and seemingly consequence-free. There doesn’t have to be an elaborately staged underground picture taking, laminating scenario. All it takes is for your kid to look reasonably like someone. Believe it or not, the people who are selling your kids alcohol (and cigarettes) aren’t always looking that closely. Your daughter is smart enough to memorize her new birthdate; then, she can quite easily tell the proprietor that she dyed her hair. He sees so many people every day it’ll be easy for her to slip through the cracks. And now she has alcohol.

Once your child figures out how to get alcohol, it’ll be easy for them to get large quantities of it. Cheap beer is—well—cheap. If you give your kid twenty dollars and tell him to “have fun”, you can be certain he’ll buy enough alcohol to get himself and several friends completely sloshed—especially after they’ve pooled their money.


2.) When your child is drinking, they almost certainly don’t know what their limit is.


This really happens at parties

Unless you have raised them in a household where everyone has one glass of wine per meal and no more, your child probably has no idea of how people of age drink a responsible amount of alcohol. If they’ve never seen you maintain normal drinking limits, there’s no way they’re going to know what to do. Even if you have raised them in a house where you and the other adults drink responsibly, you can’t assume it will transfer to them. It’s important to tell them what happens when a person drinks too much, because you can be guaranteed that at any given party, there will be a child who drinks too much—and you don’t want that child to be yours. (It’s bad enough it has to be anybody’s.)

As a parent, it’s up to you to teach your child what you believe is acceptable drinking behavior. But I can say from experience that if you tell them they can have absolutely none, it’s going to make them more curious. Curiosity is always more tempting when there are peers around—especially when those peers are pressuring your kid. Do the responsible thing and explain about the dangers of alcohol poisoning, how much is too much, and why you believe what you believe. If you don’t give a teenager the whys, they won’t blindly follow you—they’ll rebel. By the time they’re in high school, “because I said so” means nothing; they’ll never be a responsible adult if you don’t tell them why something is so.


3.) There will be drunk drivers coming and going at the party.

A harsh reality of drunk driving

The larger the party, the more likely it will be to have idiots who think it’s okay to drink and drive. Make sure your kid isn’t one of them. My beloved aunt was killed by a drunk driver (she wasn’t partying, but it was the night before her 23rd birthday). She would be alive today if some jerk didn’t get behind the wheel with alcohol in hand.
While it’s important to make sure your kid knows it’s wrong to drink and drive, also make sure they know it’s a very bad idea to get in the car with someone who’s buzzed. The new commercials are right: buzzed driving is drunk driving. Tell your kid that you will always give them a no-questions-asked ride, so long as they don’t drive drunk or get in the car with a drunk driver. If your kid is worried about being uncool, tell them you’ll park down the road or enlist a big brother or a cool aunt to pick them up. Do anything to prevent a drunk driving incident.


4.) They’re not just smoking dope.

While ecstasy is always a danger, it’s expensive and hard to obtain for the average kid. In fact, a lot of kids are so afraid of it these days, they don’t even bother—which is a good thing. So, instead, they’re turning to natural sources of impairment: marijuana and opiates.


And drugs are still a still staple item at parties

Whether your kid smokes marijuana is up to you, your kid and your local laws. No one dies of using marijuana (though if caught, your kid’s future could be in jeopardy).  But opiates are a different story. As a lupus survivor, I’m a huge advocate for opiates in the form of pain management therapy. When used responsibly, they are a safe medication with a relatively low addiction rate.

First of all, they almost always get them from somebody’s relative’s medicine cabinet. Someone out there has had surgery and left them in the back and forgot about it. Also, your kid probably knows someone who sells them.  They are easy to obtain and the euphoric feeling that can sometimes accompany opiates makes them very appealing to young party-goers. And, also, being a prescription medicine, kids view them as safe. Opiates are only safe when used correctly under a doctor’s supervision; how one gets addicted to opiates, however, starts in the way your kids are taking them at parties.

Your kid may start with one, one little pill. They say “Oh, I feel so relaxed—this is nice.” That sounds harmless enough, right? But if opiates continue to be used recreationally, to get that “high”, your kid is gonna start taking them in larger quantities and in different ways; two in particular are dangerous: powdering them and snorting them a la cocaine and taking them intravenously (“Hillbilly Heroin”), which is rarer and harder to get for kids, but not entirely unheard of. The most common way serious abuse starts is with snorting. Weird side effects can prop up, because it’s not meant to be taken like that. (Such as colored mucous from the dye—I’ve even heard of randomly high fevers.)

The problem with recreational opiates is two-fold: they take more and more which causes addiction and then by taking so much, they damage their livers, because practically every opiate contains some amount of acetaminophen, which does have a maximum dosage and can lead to death when taken in the absurd quantities that people do when they are addicted or think taking opiates is a fun way to party.


5.) Nakedness happens.

So, when all this partying is going on, someone’s gonna get naked. And it could very well be your kid. Sometimes it’s hormones, sometimes it’s sheer idiocy, but you can be sure someone’s gonna get naked to some degree. Your innocent little girl may be exposed to some vulgar boy; on the other hand, your innocent little girl may be the one exposing herself.

The best way to deter this is to remind your kid of technology: people forget; pics don’t. And you can guarantee if someone exposes themselves, pictures will be taken and texted. And also remind your child that the passing along such texts is a crime—a minor is a minor is a minor. It’s all-around badness and can ruin their lives.


6.) Sex happens—and in larger than usual quantities.

For many kids, any time away from their parents is the perfect time to have sex. Whether it’s in a car, the bench of an abandoned park or—yes—at a huge, very public party. To make matters worse, kids will fool around in front of each other. They’re not necessarily gonna sneak upstairs to make out on top of the coats like in a movie. I wasn’t kidding when I compared it to a Roman orgy. I’ve been to parties with used condoms on the living room floor—and I left. It wasn’t my style then, but I was ahead of the times. A lot of other kids didn’t leave. They continued to party in the nasty condom-strewn living room.

Having sex at a party is having sex in public. Kids don’t always think of it that way, but it is. That’s just how it is. People will watch you—they might even video you. The solution? Don’t do it. And if you’re a parent, warn your kid about it—especially if it’s their first party.


This really does happen

Another thing that happens very often is straight girls kissing each other to get attention. If your daughter is genuinely attracted to women, that’s fine and natural. But kissing another girl with the sole purpose of turning on a guy demeans her. Let her know that she’s worth more than that. Those pics will end up floating around the ether too. And if she’s drunk, she can be sure it’ll have some very flattering caption involved.

Your child’s high school party would make Caligula proud. If this concerns you, take action; create a dialogue with your kid, one that doesn’t judge but educates, and approach them with the soul intention of keeping them safe. Instead of locking them up, teach them how to party responsibly. That way, when they’re away at college and out of your reach, they’ll know how to use their wits and stay safe. That is, after all, the best gift you can give them this New Year.


Additionally, here are some quick tips for teens who want to be smart, but look cool while doing it:


1.) Find a designated driver beforehand. Make sure it’s your idea and throw in some phrase like “It’d be really lame if we get pulled over.” (It’s true, after all.)
2. Read this article. Rinse, repeat, and rinse and repeat until it’s bored into your brain forever. Don’t make your parents do all the work. Grow up and be your own advocate.
4.) Remember that anything you do can and probably will be recorded via pics or vids. Any moment can be Keek’d, Youtube’d, or Instagram’d.
5.) Put your safety first. The worst thing you can do is get yourself killed. Not only will your life be over forever and ever, but your family will never be whole again. Don’t do that to them. And, if the worst happens at your party, grow up and get help—you could save a life.
6.) Take what I said about drinking and opiates to heart—and never mix them.
7.) Understand that if your parent shows you this article and makes you read it, it’s because they love you.
8.) Get your birth control under control. If you don’t have any, your health department can help.
9.) Remember that fun is temporary—your life is permanent, including your reputation.
10.) Be young and have fun. Take my advice, and your parents’, into account, use your best judgment, remember you’re only young once, and have a very Happy New Year!

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