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Groups come together to discuss underage drinking concerns

Published: Apr. 9, 2021 at 4:55 PM EDT
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NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) - April is Alcohol Awareness month and on Friday several local groups came together for an event aimed at helping parents start a discussion about underage drinking and the dangers associated with it.

The New Bern Police Department along with the Eastern Carolina Injury Prevention Program and representatives from the Talk it Out campaign, which is done through the ABC Commission, set up at the Chick-fil-A in New Bern.

“We want to make sure that teens understand the importance of not drinking very early because it can cause substantial problems to their brain with developmental and mental problems as well,” explained Dr. LaTangee Dickens with the Eastern Carolina Injury Prevention Program.

On Friday they were asking people to take the pledge. “Take the pledge that they will start the conversation with their kids about not drinking and that they will call for help if they feel uncomfortable,” explained Dickens.

Tamra Church with Talk It Out says it’s important that parents talk with their children about alcohol and Church says it’s a conversation that you can start having with your kids as early as 8 or 9 years old.

“It’s not about one conversation like that big conversation that you’re going to have with your kid it’s really about ongoing conversations,” said Church.

Church also said it’s important for parents to condemn drinking. She says when parents do this it strongly impacts their children’s decision.

“A lot of times we find that parents are actually providing alcohol for their kids and they’ve said to me well I’d rather them drink here at home because I know they’re going to and what you’re really doing is saying that that’s okay,” explained Church.

You can find information on ways to start this conversation with your kids on the Talk It Out website, https://www.talkitoutnc.org/working-together/.

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