The legal drinking age for the state of North Carolina is 21. For anyone under the age of 21, it is Illegal to buy, possess or consume alcohol. Alcohol is a DRUG related to more deaths, crimes, health and behavioral problems than any other illegal drug. It is a nervous system depressant, that when used in excess can impair physical, emotional and behavioral abilities in the body. Alcohol use can lead to risky sexual behaviors, poor school performance and increased risk of suicide.

People react differently to alcohol consumption based on many factors. These include age, gender, race, physical condition, prescription medications taken, food intake and history of family alcohol problems.

The legal limit in all states for operating a motor vehicle is 0.08% blood alcohol level for all drivers age 21 and over. Anyone under 21 is not allowed to drive with any amount of alcohol in their system.

Getting drunk or intoxicated may be harmful possibly leading to:

  • Impaired brain function, poor judgment, reduced reaction time, loss of balance, poor motor skills, slurred speech
  • Dilation of blood vessels leading to loss of body heat
  • Increased risk of cancers, stroke and liver disease
  • Coma and death if large amounts of alcohol is consumed too quickly

Excessive alcohol use and binge drinking may lead to numerous health issues including:

  • Chronic liver disease, pancreatitis, various cancers, high blood pressure and psychological disorders
  • Injuries including motor vehicle accidents, falls drowning, burns or weapon injuries
  • Violence, homicide and suicide
  • Alcohol dependence
  • Harm to unborn child if taken by pregnant women

If you desire to stop drinking or need help to stop, it is encouraged to make an appointment with a health care provider at Student Health Services. Treatment may include counseling, medicines, and support groups.