Local News

N.C. First Lady Helps Launch Campaign Against Underage Drinking

Posted March 6, 2007

— North Carolina First Lady Mary Easley on Tuesday joined the nations' highest medical officer to announce a nationwide campaign to help reduce underage drinking.

Acting U.S. Surgeon General Kenneth P. Moritsugu has issued a booklet entitled "The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking," which outlines ways to help educate parents and children about the dangers.

Among them, Easley said, are tips for parents on talking and listening to teens about the issue.

"When I say talk, I don't mean lecture to them or preach to them," Easley said. "I mean, tell them what the true facts are, which are scientifically indicated by all the research."

A 2005 youth risk behavior survey conducted in North Carolina by the Centers for Disease Control found that 69 percent of high-school students had at least one alcoholic drink during their life; 21 percent had their first drink back age 13; and that 23 percent have had five or more drinks in a row, which is considered binge drinking.

Studies also show that 16- to 24-year-olds are involved in 28 percent of all alcohol-related car accidents, yet the age group makes up only 14 percent of the population.

The Triangle-area has had a number of alcohol-related crashes where young people died. Sunday marked the one-year anniversary in which four Wakefield High School students lost their lives while returning from a sporting event in Greenville. A medical examiner's report showed two of the teens, including the driver, had been drinking alcohol.

Easley is expected to go to Wakefield later this month when she will meet with students about making wise decisions.

Copies of "The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking," and other related materials are available on Surgeon General's Web site or by calling the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information at 800-729-6686.


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  • bigjim835 Mar 8, 2007

    While I support bans against underage drinking, I cannot see how Mary along with tax hike mike can support the lottery like she does. I guess she must feel its ok to gambling. What kind of precedence does this set for kids. Oh, I know, it will be ok for a child to gamble everthing they make when they become of age, but not to have one drink. I for one really appreciate elitist like mary and mike giving me all of their hard earn advice. Wait a minute is mike planning to run for the senate next year and all of mary's comments on TV just a form of politicing for mike. Surly not.

  • oldrebel Mar 7, 2007

    A shame they didn't get Senator Ted to get on board with this program. The could run it in tandem with "how to kill someone and get away with it"...

  • curmudgeon Mar 7, 2007

    NC's First Lady says teens drink because they lack knowledge about underage drinking. If only they were armed with the facts, they would make better choices. I guess she doesn't suppose them liking the effects of alcohol has anything to do with it. I'm sure she means well but this campaign seems likely to go the way of "just say no".

  • kcfoxie Mar 7, 2007

    simple but irrational solution: ban alcohol. afterall, if they can't get it they can't die from it.

  • WhatEver Mar 7, 2007

    jaknoll I agree. I grew up with having a glass of wine or a little cup of beer with a meal. There is nothing wrong with that. Plus being raised Catholic they serve real wine for communion. After my first communion they ran out of wine so I waited in front of the church until they brought more. Hey it was they only way to drink legally.
    Teach children at a young age responsibility so they don't have to sneak it and get hurt as a teen/young adult.

  • hilliards404 Mar 7, 2007

    her husband was not going to run for senate in the first four years of his term as gov..now she is being seen, this is called politiking,so far as i am concerned she should stay where she has before (out of sight) you are right goodytwoshoes

  • Here kitty kitty Mar 7, 2007

    We ARE telling the kids and young adults. But they are still getting the alcohol from somewhere. How do we get through to them when they see that just last weekend a state trooper was pulled for driving drunk? If we want to see a change then we as adults have to LEAD BY EXAMPLE!!!!!!!!!! Trust me, they ARE watching.

  • sasuke Mar 7, 2007

    i would say we could learn from parts of europe that dont have drinking ages. the children grow up having a glass of wine here or there and dont think of it as a big deal. here we make it illegal, so children to it to rebel and to "party" but they have to do it secretly, away from their parents so then they make the poor choices of driving and what not. if kids were to grow up with alcohol not being a big deal, they might not get into so many bad situations because of it, they might be a little more responsible

  • El Doggo Mar 7, 2007

    She must have been busy dreamin up this new scam for spending tax dollars!

    What a waste of TIME AND MONEY!

    The kids get the point! It is the few that don't. Those few will never learn except by trial. It is human nature. Sadly, some won't survive the trial.

    Good idea to drive this at the parents though...

  • mayor Mar 6, 2007

    Geeeeez - didn't know we had a "first lady." Where's she been?