Teens, law enforcement, and businesses team up to prevent underage drinking

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 8:45am

With the Super Bowl coming up, Lincoln Academy YMCA Teen Leaders and local law enforcement partnered with Healthy Lincoln County and businesses to conduct a Sticker Shock event in five alcohol retailers on Main Street in Damariscotta on Jan. 29.

The Teen Leaders recruited students, the School Resource Officer, Lincoln Academy staff and administrators, as well as the Damariscotta Police Department to place bright orange stickers on multi-packs of beer and other alcohol products, which are prominent in storefronts leading up to this weekend’s Super Bowl game.

Kortney McKenna, YMCA Teen Leader on the project, finds Sticker Shock to be important because “it raises awareness about not buying alcohol for people under 21 and the negative effects alcohol can have on minors.” The students placed over 3,000 stickers on multipacks of alcohol at Yellowfront Grocery, Rite Aid, Hilltop Stop, Mr. Mike’s, and Hannaford in Damariscotta.

The stickers are designed to reach adults who might purchase alcohol and provide to minors, which can result in fines up to $2,000 and possible jail time. The Maine DHHS supports this event as a way to prevent underage drinking. Andy Mullin, associate head of Lincoln Academy, was happy to participate because, “it’s always great to work with students on great projects such as this.”

Sheriff’s Deputy and Lincoln Academy School Resource Officer Chad Gilbert participated in Sticker Shock for the first time. He said “This is a great opportunity for students to get involved with the community.”

Sticker Shock, among other substance use prevention events, highlights how every part of our community plays an important part in keeping young people safe. Providing resources to businesses can reach parents and adults that have a direct influence in helping youth make healthy choices to stay drug and alcohol free.