FARMINGTON — Project Sticker Shock, an effort to combat the problem of underage drinking, is a collaborative effort of the Healthy Community Coalition of Greater Franklin County, local youth and retail stores.

Three youth groups throughout greater Franklin County recently kicked off Project Sticker Shock by placing eye-catching, florescent, orange-and-black stickers on wine and beer cases in participating stores.

These stickers provide a strong reminder to adults that providing alcohol to minors is illegal and they may face fines up to $2,000 and/or serve up to one year in jail.

Participating youth groups include Mt. Blue High School’s Jobs for Maine Graduates, Spruce Mountain High School’s JMG and Western Mountain Baptist Church in New Portland.

“These youth are creating ‘sticker shock waves’ targeted at adults in an effort to lower the rates of alcohol furnished to those under the age of 21,” Christine Bruen, HCC program associate, said. “Alcohol is identified as the number one drug of choice among Maine youth and is also one of the easiest substances to obtain, according to local youth. Underage drinking is a teen and community problem; when adults supply alcohol to youth, it sends a mixed message.”

Many local stores are participating partners in this public awareness project, including My Dad’s Place in Jay, Ron’s Market in Farmington, Skool House Variety in Weld, Riverside Kwik Stop in Jay, Salem General Store in Salem, Tranten’s in Kingfield, Bear Pond Variety in Turner and Douin’s Market in New Sharon.

“When businesses like these take responsibility for speaking out against underage drinking, it sends a strong community message,” Bruen said. “Their participation has made a difference in our community.”

Project Sticker Shock, a youth-led initiative to change adult attitudes about selling and providing alcohol to minors, was developed in Fort Kent in 2001 and is now a statewide project sponsored by the Maine Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services.

For more information about Project Sticker Shock or if you would like to participate in this program, contact Christine Bruen at 207-779-2927 or [email protected]

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