Opportunities for Students to Start the Conversation

Learn how you can take an active role and help prevent alcohol abuse and misuse among your friends and peers

Stopping underage drinking is not just a job for teachers, coaches, and the parenting community. At Talk it Out NC, we have resources to help you Start the Conversation to prevent teenage alcohol abuse and misuse with the young people you know. Remember, you play a critical role in guiding your peers to making healthy decisions! 

Suggestions for Young People

Get the Facts

Visit the Underage Drinking Facts and Effects of Alcohol on the Developing & Teenage Brain pages of our website to learn about the impact underage drinking can have on youth’s physical, mental, and emotional health and development. While rates of teenage alcohol abuse and misuse have been decreasing nationally in recent years, knowing the facts about underage drinking will help everyone stay on the same page when having these conversations.

Stay Up-to-Date

Organizations like the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism are government-affiliated agencies that work to research and report on the latest findings from the prevention, recovery, and treatment fields. Evidence-based research is important, but it’s even more important that the information connects with people in an understandable and educational way.

Enlist Help

Talking about underage drinking and substance misuse can be tough topics to navigate, but including trusted adults in these conversations can add validity, support, and reach to your mission. If you’re struggling to be heard, don’t hesitate to look outside your school – support can be found in many places. 

  • Connect with counselors at your school to talk about teenage alcohol abuse and misuse. If there’s a program at your school aimed at preventing substance misuse among young people – ask how you can get involved!
  • If you’re part of a religious community, consult with your faith leaders on navigating conversations and situations you’re unsure about.
  • Organizations focused on improving your local community can be wonderful resources for connecting with other young people and trusted adults about your mission. These types of organizations can take many forms including, but not limited to, local Scouting outfits, Boys & Girls Clubs, neighborhood associations, and more.
  • Local support is out there! Coalitions of professionals and community organizers focused on preventing substance misuse are located across the state and are eager for dedicated help from young people. Check out the Resource Directory from the Alcohol / Drug Council of North Carolina that helps folks connect with substance use and mental health services offered in their local communities.
  • If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, substance misuse, or other concerns beyond your control, don’t hesitate to call for help! The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a national network that provides free and confidential support to anyone in need 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Get Creative

Your words have power! Encouraging other young people you know to share their stories can help reduce the stigma surrounding issues like addiction, mental health struggles, and peer pressure.

  • Start a Journal – Putting your pen to the page is a meditative, productive way to reflect on the issue at hand.
  • Paint a Picture – If creative writing isn’t your thing, consider other creative ways to connect! Drawing, painting, and sculpting are all great ways to tell a story. Whether you do it with a paintbrush or your computer – it’s the self-reflection and creative expression that are important!
  • Share Your Story – The best way to reduce stigma around a topic is to talk about it! Having the courage to share your story with your peers – whether it’s in person, on social media, or through other creative endeavors – will show your peers that while it can be tough to talk about, it’s so important that we Start the Conversation.

Follow Talk it Out NC on social media and sign up for our ongoing newsletter to stay connected and up-to-date on the latest research, tips, tools, and support for preventing underage drinking! 

You too can help prevent underage drinking, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.  

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