A question I have been receiving a lot lately is: Is it a good idea for my teen to drink at home under my supervision? The short answer: No. Some parents have come to believe that their teen is better off drinking or even smoking pot at home rather then out driving around with friends. Lately I've heard of a philosophy that is growing in popularity in our area (and most likely, across the country) whereby parents think that it is really cool to throw a graduation party with booze for their underage child and all their friends--complete with an off-duty police guard who will take their car keys and not give them back till the next morning. The thinking is that they are going to be drinking anyway, so at least they will be safe for one night at our home.

This is a bad idea--and not just for legal issues. The message that it sends to an adolescent is, I believe you have no self-control; you're going to use drugs no matter what, so use them at home where you'll be safe. Adolescent brains are still under construction and substance use at an early age is not good for the brain. Even though your teen may experiment anyway, it is important to not condone such behavior. No matter what teens may say or even think--they do not need their parents to be their friends, nor should they expect parents to be their rescuers. They need strong parental guidance. Someone has to be the adult in the relationship.

Author's Bio: 

Joe Herzanek, a man who battled his own demons of addiction over twenty-five years ago, says, "I know people can change. If I can do it, anyone can!"

Joe is president and founder of Changing Lives Foundation, Chaplain and Addiction Counselor at the Boulder County Jail and author of the award-winning book "Why Don't They JUST QUIT?"

Joe offers words of encouragement: "Addiction is not a hopeless situation. Addicts and alcoholics aren't crazy, and they can quit."