Local News

Underage binge drinking a growing problem, NC leaders say

Posted May 8, 2019 5:16 a.m. EDT
Updated May 8, 2019 10:47 a.m. EDT

— New numbers show that most teenagers in North Carolina are either drinking or know someone their age who is.

Talk It Out NC, a Raleigh-based organization focused on preventing underage drinking, is holding a forum Wednesday to allow parents and teenagers to discuss the issue.

State leaders say 94 percent of youth believe underage drinking is a problem, and nearly 67 percent of middle and high school students know another teen that has tried alcohol at least once.

Jim Van Hecke, the N.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission’s deputy director of education outreach, said these numbers are better than previous years.

But binge drinking is a growing problem, he said.

Binge drinking typically involves a man taking five or more drinks in two hours or a woman taking four or more drinks in two hours, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It brings someone’s blood alcohol concentration to 0.08 grams percent or higher.

“Kids can often go farther than that, and then they lose control,” Van Hecke said. “All types of dangerous things can happen.”

Binge drinking is the deadliest pattern of excessive alcohol use in the country, according for the CDC.

Talk It Out NC will ask students Wednesday to make a pledge not to drink, especially at prom and graduation events.

The forum starts at 8:30 a.m. at N.C. State University's McKimmon Center.