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How to prevent teen alcohol abuse ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday

With more drivers expected to hit the road this Wednesday, a North Carolina organization encourages parents to speak with their children about alcohol dangers.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Blackout Wednesday, also known as Drunksgiving, refers to binge drinking on the night before Thanksgiving. With more drivers expected to hit the road this Wednesday, a North Carolina organization encourages parents to speak with their children about the dangers of alcohol abuse.

Talk it Out NC is an organization through the North Carolina Alcohol Beverage Commission. It helps parents understand how to talk to their children about the challenges around alcohol use.

Dr. Wanda Boone is a Talk it Out NC Ambassador. She said the average age children in North Carolina take their first drink is 14.

“Children although they grow in height, do not have the capacity that their frontal lobes are not fully developed to understand, really understand the outcomes of the behaviors that they are participating in,” Dr. Boone said.

Dr. Boone said there are several alcohol prevention strategies parents can practice with their kids.  She said one of the best things a parent can do is let a child know that if they need to get out of a dangerous or risky situation, they can text the letter "X."

“The child can text that to the parent to let them know, come and get me,” Dr. Boone said. “Which means that, before a child leaves home, the parent should know where they're going, who they're going with, and those kinds of things."

She also recommends parents lock up any alcohol in the home and monitor to make sure a teen is not using or experimenting with alcohol without their knowledge.  

Talk it Out NC encourages parents and children to sign a pledge to say they won't use alcohol under the age of 21. The pledge makes ongoing conversations part of their regular routine.  



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