My name is William Butler and I am a mental health therapist for Aurora Family Counseling in Rockingham.
I treat adolescents, adults, families, and couples, primarily using cognitive behavioral therapy. I support the “Talk It Up. Lock It Up!” project of the North Carolina Preventing Underage Drinking Initiative (NC PUD, 2007).
It is the goal of this letter to empower parents and adults to talk about alcohol use and to monitor and secure the alcohol in their homes in a strategy to reduce the likelihood of alcohol getting into the hands of adolescents from their own or their friends’ homes. This letter is my way of advocating for adults to lock up the alcohol that they have in their homes and talk with other adults and their children or youth in their care about alcohol use.
It is a fact that two out of three underage individuals acquire alcohol from their homes or from their friends’ homes. Individuals who start drinking alcohol before the age of 21 are five times more likely to be alcohol abusers as adults. Human brains develop until age 22 or 23 and underage alcohol used negatively, impacts this development.
Underage drinking costs North Carolina $1.5 billion a year. If an adult allows an adolescent to drink in their home or takes no steps to prevent adolescents in that home from accessing alcohol, that adult is contributing to the hardship the adolescent may face in the future and are creating a hardship on North Carolina’s economy in having to deal with the aftermath of adolescent alcohol use.
Talking to adolescents concerning the use of alcohol, disapproving of using alcohol and taking action to stop use of alcohol are very important factors in if an adolescent will drink alcohol or not. The goal of this letter is to educate those who have alcohol in their homes about the potential for access to that alcohol by adolescents who live there or are visiting there. Parents and grandparents should talk about the use of alcohol with their children and lock up or closely monitor their alcohol. Please help our community to prevent adolescent alcohol use using this free and easy precaution with huge benefits. Talk it up. Lock it up!