Any home that has alcohol in it (whether you have children or not) is like another alcohol outlet in the community. Homes containing alcohol of any kind should strive to responsibly monitor and secure their alcohol supplies so that they do not become suppliers to underage drinkers.
You don’t have to supply on purpose, but if you don’t plan to keep alcohol supplies secure from underage consumers, then your home can unwittingly become an underage drinking outlet.
Here are some commonly asked questions by adults regarding Talk It Up. Lock It Up!™:
QUESTION: What is the mission of Talk It Up. Lock It Up!™?
ANSWER: To encourage adults to make their homes NO underage drinking zones by asking them to monitor and secure their alcohol.
QUESTION: Kids are going to drink anyway. Isn’t it better if I let them drink at home under my supervision?
ANSWER: Only about 35 to 40 percent of underage drinking-related deaths involve a car. The other 60 percent are other causes (falls, alcohol poisoning, etc.).
Young people who start drinking alcohol before age 15 are five times more likely to develop alcohol abuse or dependence than people who first used alcohol at age 21 or older.
It’s not just about the harm you can see. It’s also about preventing problems in the future.
QUESTION: As an ADULT what should I be doing to monitor and secure alcohol?
ANSWER: Adults should figure out all the places where alcohol is kept and assess whether it is accessible to people under 21.
If they feel it is (i.e. unlocked in a cabinet, in a cooler in the garage, in the refrigerator), they come up with a system to make sure that it is secure from the reach of underage people or monitored so that it can be easily detected if not consumed by someone over 21.
Another large component is for adults to communicate the expectation to young people in their lives that they do not condone drinking underage.
QUESTION: As an ADULT, why should you participate in Talk It Up. Lock It Up!™?
ANSWER: When underage drinkers are asked about where they access alcohol, 2/3 of alcohol access is reported as coming from private homes.
By monitoring and securing alcohol in the home, adults can cut down on the largest source of alcohol for underage drinking. Alcohol should not be as easy to get as milk in the fridge.
Adults should also know that laws in North Carolina encourage adults to consider their role in alcohol access to underage people. Curious about the penalties around providing alcohol to those underage? Check out this resource from the ABC Commission highlighting the penalties.
QUESTION: How can I spread the word about Talk It Up. Lock It Up!™ in my community?
ANSWER: At YES! we have several resources to help adults who want to spread the word. They are attached below for your efforts. We encourage you to educate a team of youth to be spokespeople in your community. They are powerful allies in gathering pledges from adults when they ask how those adults are willing to protect them by changing the overall environment they exist in.