The local hardware store can be a real ally in the fight to curb underage drinking. Which is why the Cape Fear Coalition for a Drug Free Tomorrow is presenting a free workshop this Saturday on how to install locks on home liquor cabinets. The Coalition is partnering with the Wilmington Police Department to provide the community with safety tips and information about the legal consequences of providing alcohol to minors.
Saturday’s “Talk It Up. Lock It Up” campaign aims to keep youths from accessing alcohol. Jane McDonald, administrator of Coastal Horizons’ Prevent Underage Drinking Program, says that in addition to formal prevention programming, environmental change—which calls for the community at large to identify and prevent the access and sale of alcohol to youths--is crucial for keeping underage drinking in check.
"The number one place where youths access alcohol is in the home, or the home of somebody else. And, when we start talking about underage drinking, I think a lot of times people think, ‘Oh, ya’ll are prohibitionists.’ No, we’re not prohibitionists; we’re about keeping our youths safe and keeping them from developing alcohol-related problems."
McDonald notes that youths who start drinking by the age of fifteen are five times more likely to develop an alcohol addiction, and adds that New Hanover County typically sees high rates of underage drinking compared to averages across the state.
*The events are scheduled to take place Saturday, September 21, and Saturday, October 12, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Stevens Hardware, located at 1831 Dawson St., Wilmington. The store will offer a 20% discount on cabinet locks.