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RALEIGH: 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. Underage drinking remains a serious problem in North Carolina. In a 2015 survey of middle and high school students in North Carolina, 94 percent of respondents said 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.”

About Talk It Out NC

The North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission launched the Talk It Out NC campaign in 2014. The goal of the multimedia awareness campaign is to reduce underage drinking by encouraging conversations between parents and their children. Talk It Out NC offers resources for parents who need guidance talking to their children about the dangers of underage drinking. Visit talkitoutnc.org to get the conversation started.

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