‘Project Sticker Shock’ Is Underway

Students from area schools are pictured as they begin "Project Sticker Shock," placing bright stickers on beer cases reminding purchasers about the importance of keeping alcohol out of the hands of youth under the age of 21.

Students from area school districts recently kicked off “Project Sticker Shock”, a youth-led initiative to change adult attitudes about selling and providing alcohol to minors.

The public awareness project is sponsored by the Chautauqua Alcohol and Substance Abuse Council to bring attention to the issue of underage drinking and the adults who provide alcohol to minors.

Local youth from Clymer, Dunkirk, Falconer and Jamestown are part of a movement of youth working with participating stores to spread “Sticker Shock” waves across Chautauqua County in an effort to reach adults who might be tempted to buy alcohol for youth under 21.

Bright yellow and red stickers stand out on the beer cases and provide a reminder that it is unacceptable to provide alcohol to anyone under under the age of 21.

Stores participating include the Ashville General Store, RoBo Enterprises, RoBo Mobil Falconer, RoBo Convenience Center, RoBo on Main, Tops Friendly Markets in Dunkirk and Tops Friendly Markets on Foote Avenue in Jamestown.

Alcohol has been identified as the the most abused substance among youth between the ages of 12 and 18 and, according to youth, one of the easiest to get.

A 2016 survey conducted by the HOPE Chautauqua Coalition, revealed that almost one-third of Chautauqua County teenagers report having had their first drink, more than a sip or two once or twice a month, before their 13th birthday.

Youth who drink before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who begin drinking at age 21. For each year’s delay in initiation of drinking, the likelihood of later alcohol-abuse problems decreases markedly.