State News

State officials launch underage drinking reduction program

Posted December 3, 2014
Updated December 4, 2014

— Young people in North Carolina - particularly middle-school students - are drinking and parents need the confidence and resources to stop it, Gov. Pat McCrory and other state officials said Wednesday while unveiling a website with techniques to address the problem.

The governor, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest and state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission Chairman Jim Gardner launched an effort stemming from a task force created last spring on the topic.

The website chronicles the negative results of youth drinking in North Carolina and gives tips to parents on how to speak plainly to kids about why underage drinking is dangerous to them immediately and as an adult.

An ABC Commission initiative surveying North Carolina students and parents in July found that more than one-third of eighth-graders had consumed alcohol at least once. More than 60 percent of parents don't feel fully prepared to properly address the issue with their children, according to a commission news release.

It is illegal for people under 21 to drink alcohol.

The figures reported "mean one thing - that as parents, we can't wait until high school to have real talks with our children. We have to start much earlier so they'll be fully prepared for what they're going to face," Forest said in a news release. He and his wife - the parents of four children - are designated ambassadors of the Talk It Out campaign.

The Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center estimates that underage drinking cost state residents $1.5 billion in 2010 and contributed to tens of thousands of crimes and dozens of homicides the year before.

Two television ads will start airing on the topic Wednesday, along with social media and public events across the state.

The website, announced at Raleigh's Daniels Middle School, also includes a video with people describing their stories associated with underage drinking.

The underage drinking effort has been a key initiative for Gardner, a former congressman and North Carolina's only Republican governor in the 20th century, serving from 1989 to 1993. McCrory picked him last year for the three-member ABC commission. The state ABC regulates alcohol sales at more than 18,000 retail outlets statewide.


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  • richnlink Dec 4, 2014

    I wish more parents would be more like parents instead of acting like friends. A lot of underage drinking begins at home with the parents being enablers. Studies have shown that more and more teens are becoming addicts and we've seen at
    It seems like every month more kids are coming through our doors. Lets get back to teaching our kids positive coping skills and using preventive measures instead of using excuses to justify bad parenting. Bad parenting can also mean not knowing who your friends are hanging out with. My parents invaded my privacy and it kept me out of a lot trouble

  • 678devilish Dec 3, 2014

    Under 21. Obviously and older person is providing these drinks to the younger ones who cannot buy it. Its not just the parents, its their friends too, or other relatives. They do not realize the harm they are doing to themselves. One thing they need to know, drinking alcohol drinks can kill you, eventually. That is a fact!.

  • dwntwnboy2 Dec 3, 2014

    View quoted thread

    - they are tied together because to tell someone "you are an adult" with all that being an "adult" involves- being charged as an adult if you commit a crime, ability to buy a car, a house, a firearm, to be held accountable for their actions and the contracts they sign, the ability to be part of the biggest military on the planet with the most dangerous and deadly weapons known to man.....yet they aren't "adult" enough to buy a beer? If they are an "adult" and can vote to choose the next leader of the free world, don't ya think they are "adult" enough to buy a bottle of wine?

  • NO_COMMENT11235813 Dec 3, 2014

    View quoted thread

    There is nothing wrong with living sober or not jumping out of an airplane. However some folks find those things to be exciting, and for them. Some Alcoholic beverages have distinctive health, social, and therapeutic qualities when taken in managed doses. Some could argue there is a lot of therapy to be gained from taking alcohol in major doses.

  • archmaker Dec 3, 2014

    Pat - quit trying to be like Michelle Obama and tell me how to raise healthy kids!

  • PowderedToastMan Dec 3, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Why do people insist on tying these things together?

  • Notinitforthemoney Dec 3, 2014

    Start suspending driving privileges to those caught consuming, possessing, or attempting to possess alcohol underage, like other states do.

  • clintoflannagan Dec 3, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Denial is not just a river in Egypt......

  • Joseph Smith Dec 3, 2014
    user avatar

    Problem created by government and now they're her to save us. Sound familiar?

  • wayneboyd Dec 3, 2014

    I've never had an inkling for alcohol, but I was a smoker for 58 years. Had pneumonia 7 years ago (thank God) and haven't wanted one since. My point is why would one ever decide to try anything that has no useful purpose in itself except to be something else for one to waste their hard earned money using.
    What is wrong with simply living life with a little more of your money sober? Does drinking really produce more enjoyment in ones life or is it something one indulges in just to "fit in?"