New Initiative Offers Tips and Incentives for a Safe and Sober Prom


Community coalition partners with florists for student incentives and parent tips

The Adolescent Substance Abuse Coalition (ASAC) has provided parents and students with tips and tools for a safe and sober prom this year in Kent County.

Prom is set for May 18 at the Chester River Yacht and Country Club, with a new alcohol-free initiative from ASAC in place of the traditional post-prom party.

ASAC has mailed packets that include tips for keeping kids alcohol-free this prom, along with a contract that parents can sign with teenagers. The contract, from Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, lists items for both a teenager and parent to agree upon, including teens staying sober and parents keeping an open mind. The contract not only helps establish basic ground rules and expectations, it also helps keep communication open about the risks of underage drinking.

The packets also include a $5 off coupon for one flower purchase, like a corsage or boutonniere, at three local florists: Inspired Designs and Bloomin’ Wild Florist in Chestertown, and Sara’s Garden in Rock Hall. The coupons include four tips for teens attending PROM:

  • Plan ahead. Tell your parents your plan.
  • Remember most kids don’t drink. Practice saying, ‘No Thanks.’
  • Open communication with your parents. Have a code word in case you need to call for a ride home.
  • Make Memories, look out for each other and have fun.

According to the latest youth survey, about 69 percent of Kent County high school students have had at least one drink. And, about 10 percent of our high schoolers have driven after drinking.

Parents are a powerful source of positive and reliable information. In fact, research has shown that kids who have conversations with their parents and learn about the dangers of alcohol and drug use are 50 percent less likely to use these substances than those who don’t have such

The longer children can delay drinking and drug use, the less likely they are to develop problems. Parents can make a difference – that’s why it is so important to help your child connect the dots and make smart decisions.

The coupons are supported by the Kent County Behavioral Health (KCBH) Prevention Office, through a grant from Maryland Department of Health and SAMHSA. The prevention office is part of ASAC, which is community partnership working to reduce alcohol, tobacco and other
drug use among our youth. Partners include KCBH; Kent County Public Schools; Kent County Sheriff’s Office; Kent County Parks and Recreation and others.

For more information on preventing the use of alcohol and other drugs, contact Annette Duckery, Alcohol and Other Drugs Prevention Coordinator for KCBH, at 410-778-7918. For more information on ASAC, contact Steven G. Atkinson, ASAC Chair at 410 708-3653.

The Kent County Behavioral Health Prevention Office helps community groups, agencies and individuals in providing programs and activities to prevent alcohol and other drug abuse, and to build a healthier community.

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