ANTRIM COUNTY- Project Sticker Shock hit store shelves in Antrim County recently, in an effort to keep adults from buying alcohol for teens.
The project is a collaborative, county-wide effort by the Antrim County Youth Coalition and the Antrim County Sheriff Department. ACYC members from high schools in Mancelona, Elk Rapids and Bellaire went with a police escort to "shock" customers of various party stores, grocery stores and gas stations by placing stickers on cases and bottles of beer. The stickers included a message reminding patrons of their responsibilities to NOT provide alcohol to minors, and gave an overview of the consequences of doing so.
In addition to the sticker program in the Antrim County area, The Antrim County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition sent out a mass mailing to inform and remind parents of the dangers of teen drinking and partying during prom and graduation celebrations. According to recent findings of the Michigan Profile for Healthy Youth, one in five Antrim County teens reported that they had consumed alcohol within the past 30 days. While underage drinking is a problem, the abuse of prescription and illegal drugs is on the rise as well.
"This time of a year is an exciting time for high school students, but it can also be tough to make the right decision," said coalition member Jenna Minish. "Underage drinking, driving under the influence and teen parties involving other drugs are always a concern, and communities see an increase during this time of year. It is good to remind families of the risks and their responsibilities."
The Health Department of Northwest Michigan is mandated by the Michigan Public Health Code to promote wellness, prevent disease, provide quality healthcare, address health problems of vulnerable populations, and protect the environment for the residents and visitors of Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego counties. Visit the Health Department online at www.nwhealth.org or call (800) 432-4121.