South Dakota is ranked highest in the nation for teen binge drinking. With graduation around the corner for many high school seniors, it's important to have a conversation with your kids.
Graduating high school is what many students look forward to. Many of them will want to celebrate with friends. But it's important that they do so in a safe and legal way.
Some graduating seniors may feel the pressure to celebrate with friends and take part in underage drinking.
According to the Center for Disease control people age 12 to 20 years drink 11 percent of all alcohol consumed in the United States. More than 90 percent of this alcohol is consumed in the form of binge drinks.
It's never easy to talk about drinking or your child and so forth so communication is just huge. So I think the more you can do that with your child or graduating senior the better off because there has just been many tragic things that happen in the community that you never want to go through that," Lincoln High School Counselor David Myers said.
While Myers does not support underage drinking, he says it's important for parents to have a back-up plan if their son or daughter finds themselves in dangerous situation.
"They have gone through high school they got their degree and now they feel invincible. And that they can drive in a car and when they have been drinking at home or wherever their next place is," Myers said. "So it's important that whatever parents do they need to have communication and just say hey you need to be safe, if you are going to drink then call me."
"My parents they always say that if I ever find myself in like a bad situation that I can just call them because they won't hold it against me if I do that wrong thing of if I am in a wrong situation at that time," Caleb Rector, high school senior, said.
While Caleb Rector is looking forward to graduation he still wants to be safe and make the right decisions.
"There's a lot of stuff that will be happening around you and you just have to the self-control to like not involve yourself in that kind of stuff and make sure you are staying safe," Rector said.
After graduation, many high schools in the area host an all-night senior party. This provides students an opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments in a safe environment.
"I really like that the school has the senior party so we can kind of get all the senior together again and celebrate as a group and end our four years together," Katie McCoy, high school senior, said.