Group warns of early drinking

Heading back to school for a new year means new books, new clothes and new lessons for your children. One of the lessons the Campus and Community Coalition wants to help them learn is the danger of starting to drink too early in life.

During the fall, families in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School district will be offered the opportunity to participate in a new program designed to help parents talk to their kids about underage drinking.

The program kicked off today with a letter sent to every household with a child registered in Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools introducing them to Campus and Community Coalition's campaign which focuses on how to have conversations with children about the effects of drinking.

The coalition consists of members from The Town of Chapel Hill, the Orange County Health Department, UNC Chapel Hill and the Orange County ABC Board. It was formed in 2013 to study the issue of underage drinking at a local level and to provide solutions for some of the social problems it creates in the community.

A study conducted by the Coalition concluded that people who began drinking before the age of 15 were six times more likely to develop alcoholism or have problems with alcohol later in life. It also discovered that parents are the number one influence on their children's decisions about drinking. With that information, this campaign was created to facilitate conversations among families.

There will be 3 waves of information coming out through November that includes topics addressing; why to talk to your children about alcohol, how to talk with them, and how social media and mental health can affect decisions on whether to drink.

You can see a copy of the letter sent to homes here and learn more about the Coalition and when to participate in events on their website.

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