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Studies Show Problem Drinking Often Starts in High School

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This Rolling Stone magazine contains ads for alcohol, and is often read by teens.
RALEIGH — Researchers say many young people who drink incollege and into adulthood started in high school, but the problem ofunderage drinking is not going unnoticed. One group has made it itsmission to keep teens from taking that first drink.

Messages promoting alcohol are everywhere, even in magazinesthat teenagers read. For some, however, those messages come from home.

Because of alcoholism in her family, 17-year-old Jessica Groome hasjoined The North Carolina Initiative to Reduce Underage Drinking.

Project Development Director, Barbara Alvarez Martin, says parentsoften do view drinking as a problem for teens.

Young people in North Carolina have easier access to alcohol because theycan simply walk into a convenience store and pick up a six pack that'swhy organizers of the initiative are trying to get merchants to get seriousabout carding.

Convenience Store Clerk Kevin Taylor says he is careful about sellingalcohol.

Police say enforcing this could be a matter of life and death, whethera teen gets behind the wheel of a car or simply drinks himself to death.

That's the sort of thing this group wants to prevent.

The initiative is funded by a four-year, $1 million grant from theRobert Wood Johnson Foundation. North Carolina is one of 12 statesparticipating in the program.

Photographer:Joe Frieda

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