LEWISTON – Area teens will join forces to send a message on underage furnishing of liquor during a Project Sticker Shock kick-off at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, May 26, at Elizabeth Ann’s, corner of Sabattus Street and East Avenue.

Alcohol is the leading drug of choice among youth and causes more youth deaths than all other illegal drugs combined. Sticker Shockers will be placed on multi-packs of beer and alcopops.’

The American Medical Association recently warned that “hard liquor brands are using these sweet flavored beverages as gateway’ beverages to attract less experience drinkers.”

Research indicates that between 10 and 20 percent of alcohol consumed in the U.S. is consumed by youth under age 21, therefore between 10 and 20 percent of industry profits come from an illegal underage market. Stickers remind adults: “Providing alcohol to minors is illegal. Fines are up to $2,000 and up to one year in jail.”

Project Sticker Shock is a state-wide initiative sponsored by the Maine Office of Substance Abuse and is coordinated by Healthy Androscoggin’s Project Unite!. Groups work with local retailers of all sizes, chains stores and independent stores.

Those working on the project are Lewiston Police Officer Rob Ullrich, alcohol enforcement team coordinator, 784-6422, ext. 332; Youth 2 Youth Group, Lewiston High School, adviser Vicky Weigman, 795-4190, ext. 230; Youth 2 Youth Group from Leavitt Area High School, Turner, adviser Sarah Duchette, 225-3533; and Maine Youth Voices from Poland Regional High School, adviser Lynley Turkington, 998-5400, ext. 123.

Project Unite! is a grass roots initiative to reduce youth access to alcohol by strengthening policy, enforcement and community norms to send a message that underage drinking hurts kids and community. Healthy Androscoggin’s Project Unite! is funded by a OneME Grant from Maine Office of Substance Abuse and the Drug-Free Communities Support Program.

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