'Project Sticker Shock' targets underage drinking

Posted 12/2/21

This program educates the public and changes attitudes about selling and providing alcohol to anyone under the age of 21.

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'Project Sticker Shock' targets underage drinking

Posted

Underage drinking continues to be a severe threat to the safety of youth in the East Bay.

Alcohol continues to be identified as one of the most popular drugs among local youth. Students surveyed reported that alcohol was one of the most accessible drugs to get, often legally purchased by older friends or family. Some parents are also providing alcohol under the false belief that it allows them to monitor kids while they drink.

Unfortunately, parents who supply alcohol to minors increase the risk of addiction, physical harm, harming brain development, sexual assault, injuries, and death. Property owners who allow underage drinking can also be held liable for any property damage, injuries, or deaths that occur. Parents and others, who supply alcohol to anyone under 21, also open themselves to legal penalties such as fines and jail time under social host laws.

In response to this growing problem, youth leaders and the East Bay Regional Coalition are working together to combat underage drinking. The East Bay Regional Coalition, Bristol Prevention Coalition, East Providence Prevention Coalition, Warren Prevention Coalition, and local youth joined forces earlier this year in the program “Project Sticker Shock.”

This program educates the public and changes attitudes about selling and providing alcohol to anyone under the age of 21. Local youth are working with the prevention coalitions, local retailers, and restaurants for another round of this vital program.

“Adults need to set an example for our youth,” said Denise Alves, Co-director of East Bay Regional Coalition. “Underage drinking is not a teen problem, but a community problem. Supplying alcohol to anyone under 21 is illegal. Adults, youth, law enforcement, and businesses all need to be part of the solution.”

On the weekend before Thanksgiving, local youth placed stickers on cases of beer and “bottle neckers” on liquor bottles of brands popular with youth, along with other signage placed around stores. Stores were also provided with shopping bags that sport the same essential messages. The stickers and signs spell out a potent reminder: “Think Twice! Providing alcohol to a minor is illegal.”

In addition, local restaurants also used tamper-proof food delivery bags and coasters sporting educational decals and messages provided by the East Bay Regional Coalition. With an eye-catching design, the decals stand out for all to see and educate residents about the risk of giving alcohol to minors.

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.