WARRENSVILLE — Alcohol abuse is a common problem for teenagers all around the country. Mary Howell is hoping to fix that in North Carolina.
Students at Ashe County Middle School heard an informative presentation on alcohol abuse on Monday afternoon, on topics ranging from being in a car with an intoxicated driver to the dangers of binge drinking.
Howell, a former teacher in the county, now devotes her time and effort into helping young, impressionable “tweens” and high school teenagers understand the impact that alcohol can have on their lives in all parts of the state.
The Alcohol Abuse Education program’s main mission is to reach out to children at a young age to educate them and help them understand the responsibilities that come with drinking alcohol, including major consequences of underage drinking, binge drinking and drinking and driving.
The program is sponsored by the Ashe County ABC Store.
“Underage drinking is a problem, and we are going to do something about it. I need your help to do something about it,” Howell said to the group of eighth graders. “It is a problem and we all need to take it more seriously.”
During the program, Howell also used the time available to encourage students to remember that they are role models for other people, no matter at what age. They can be role models to not only their friends, but also younger siblings.
Kids were encouraged to talk to their parents or talk to their guidance counselors if they had any concerns with alcohol abuse and signed a poster at the end of the program to promise they would remain alcohol free.
On Wednesday, the Alcohol Abuse Education program received an endorsement from the North Carolina Association of ABC Boards.
The program offers several different areas to find information and even seek help if needed. Visit the program website at www.alcoholabuseeducation.org, “Like” their facebook page at www.facebook.com/alcoholabuseedu and follow them on Twitter @Alcoholabuseedu
To get in touch with Mary Howell, email her at [email protected] or call 336-416-8035.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-846-7164 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87