Talk it Out’s Underage Drinking Prevention & Treatment Partnerships


What is Talk it Out NC?

Established in 2014 by the North Carolina Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) Commission, Talk it Out NC is a statewide campaign that educates adults and youth about the dangers of underage drinking. Research shows that dialogue is the first step toward prevention, and our goal is to empower adults and children to engage in open discussions about alcohol. Because we understand that these conversations can feel awkward for everyone involved, we offer resources, tools, workshops, and guidance to facilitate meaningful dialogue.

Partnerships in Prevention

Talk it Out NC recognizes that underage drinking prevention is a team effort, so we partner with other alcohol misuse prevention and education organizations, schools, community centers, drunk driving prevention organizations, law enforcement agencies, and healthcare providers. These partnerships allow us to amplify our message, extending its reach and impact to a diverse audience across multiple platforms. Here’s a closer look at the benefits of partnering with other alcohol prevention and recovery groups:

  • Shared Knowledge: By working with agencies such as the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the Alcohol/Drug Council of North Carolina, we have access to the latest research on underage drinking and the best prevention strategies.
  • Wider Reach: With partners like Together for Resilient Youth (TRY) and the North Carolina Association of School Resource Officers, we can reach teens more directly through educational programs and events.
  • Stronger Support Systems: Collaborating with addiction specialists such as the Recovery Alliance Initiative and the Tia Hart Community Recovery Program allows us to create a comprehensive support network for teens struggling with alcohol misuse.

Why Education Matters

Did you know that young people in the United States use alcohol more than any other substance? Unfortunately, many of them are unaware of the serious risks they’re taking when they choose to consume alcohol.

Last year, we interviewed two students from Wake Monarch Academy, a substance recovery-focused high school in Raleigh. Both young men had started experimenting with alcohol when they were very young (12 or 13 years old) and eventually developed substance misuse disorders. These students emphasized the importance of parental involvement and encouraged parents to be supportive of their teens and help them find better solutions to their issues if they’ve begun using alcohol.

Likewise, Talk it Out NC partnered earlier this year with two other students, a young man and a young woman, from Wake Monarch for an inspiring and eye-opening webinar in which those teens shared their stories of addiction and recovery, and also reiterated the value of empathetic, resilient parents and guardians as part of their recovery network.

What Teens Should Know

Alcohol misuse prevention organizations believe knowledge is power, and when we educate young people about the dangers of underage drinking, we help them make informed choices. These are some facts every teen should know:

  • Underage drinking can damage your health. Alcohol negatively impacts the developing teenage brain and may also affect the liver and heart, potentially causing physical and mental health issues later in life.
  • Underage drinking can lead to legal trouble. North Carolina has a zero-tolerance policy, and anyone under 21 who’s caught purchasing, consuming, or in possession of alcohol will be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor.
  • Underage drinking creates safety risks for teens and others. Underage drinking can impair judgment, which may lead teens to engage in risky behaviors like driving after consuming alcohol, getting into fights, or destroying or vandalizing property.

Learn More About Talking it Out!

When adults truly understand the dangers of underage drinking, not only can they explain the risks to kids, but they can effectively communicate their concerns, set clear expectations, and offer support. As a result, the young people in their lives will be better equipped to resist peer pressure, navigate challenging social situations, and seek help when necessary.

Talk it Out NC isn’t just an alcohol misuse education organization; it’s a movement devoted to helping citizens of North Carolina stay healthy and safe. We hope you and the young people you parent or mentor will join us and Take the Pledge to prevent underage drinking today!