Statewide Organization Urges Parents and Teens to Take the Pledge to Stop Underage Drinking
To raise awareness of the risks underage drinking poses to young people in North Carolina and across the country, Governor Roy Cooper proclaimed April 2019 as Alcohol Awareness Month.
“Underage drinking jeopardizes young people’s health and safety and puts lives at risk,” Gov. Cooper said. “It’s important that people know the dangers of alcohol and that families talk honestly and directly about underage drinking.”
According to research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, underage drinking can cause problems in school, changes in brain development and increased risk of suicide. About 10 percent of 12-year-olds say they have tried alcohol and by age 15, that number jumps to 50 percent.
Underage drinking remains a serious problem in North Carolina. 94 percent of teens in our state say underage drinking is a problem among their friends and classmates.
Under Gov. Cooper’s leadership, Talk It Out NC is working to curb underage drinking. Talk It Out NC encourages parents and teens to stop underage drinking by pledging to maintain open lines of communication, create honest dialog about peer pressure, acknowledge the negative physical effects of alcohol on young brains and discuss the consequences of driving drunk.
“Conversations about alcohol may be difficult to start, but these conversations could save lives,” said Chairman A. D. “Zander” Guy of the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission.
National Alcohol Awareness Month was established in 1987 to increase understanding of alcohol addiction and its causes, as well as to share information about recovery and treatment options.
“Alcohol Awareness Month can be a conversation starter for families,” said Jim Van Hecke, Deputy Director of Education and Outreach for the NC ABC Commission. “It can also serve as a reminder for communities to work toward collaborative solutions to prevent underage drinking.”