Officials of North Carolina, namely Gov. Pat McCrory, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest and state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission Chairman Jim Gardner, are pushing to reduce underage drinking with the launch of a new program, as told in a recent article from WRAL.
The program is a series of shocking advertisements about young drinkers.
One advertisement shows a mother putting a corsage on her kid before she starts to cry. It zooms out to show the child is in a casket as the words “it’s never too early to talk to your kid about the dangers of alcohol, but it can be too late” are spoken.
The commercial has a very powerful message. Drinking at a young age can kill someone before they even have to chance to fully experience life. That kid is never going to another school dance, she’s never going to go to college.
As a high schooler, this speaks to me. The ad shows the damage underage drinking does to family members as well as the user. It shocks people at how young she is, and how she’ll never grow up.
As well as an ad, the officials also have created a website called Talk It Out, which informs parents and children on the price to pay for underage drinking. It also includes people describing their experiences with underage drinking and how it hurt their lives.
Underage drinking programs at schools do little to include the parents. They discuss the price the teen has to pay if they drink before 21, but provide little instruction on how the parents should react.
The website provides parents and their kids with information on how to resolve these drinking problems. It also informs the parents on warning signs of drinking. The warning signs are helpful for the parents because they give parents extra time to resolve the problem before it gets worse.
It’s better for parents to see the warning signs and stop the drinking, then discover the problem the day their kid ends up in the hospital because of a drinking related problem.
Not only is there a website for parents and teens, but the officials have begun their program at Daniels Middle School.
The average age when kids have their first drink is under 14. By starting the program at middle schools, it teaches students the dangers of drinking before they become too familiar with alcohol.
With the website and program launches, the percentage of underage drinkers should drop.