Alexandria, VA – Be prepared for a “shock” from the Sticker Shock Initiative on Oct. 19. No, they won’t be out and about in spooky costumes! The teams of Alexandria youth and adults will “shock” purchasers of alcohol by placing bright red warning stickers on multi-packs of beer and other alcohol products in local stores.
Sticker Shock is sponsored by the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria (SAPCA); DCHS; Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities; Alexandria Police Department; Alexandria Sheriff’s Office; and Virginia ABC.
The campaign works to educate adults who might purchase alcohol legally and provide it to minors. The stickers will contain warnings about the serious penalties for furnishing alcohol to minors. In Virginia, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor, with a punishment of up to $2,500 and up to 12 months in jail, or both. In addition to these penalties, a person found guilty shall have his or her driver’s license suspended.
A recent Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey reported that youth ages 13 and older say it is easy to get alcohol from adults ― sometimes from their own parents who themselves may have drinking problems. A Developmental Assets Profile indicated 29 percent of high school seniors said they drank alcohol in the past 30 days, with 16 percent reporting that they got drunk once or more in the last two weeks.
The Sticker Shock campaign will kick off with a press conference at the City of Alexandria Department of Community and Human Services at 10 a.m. on Oct. 19. Speakers include Alexandria Police Department Chief Michael Brown and Alexandria Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Quentin Wade. Following the press conference, teams of youth and adults will travel throughout the city to visit more than 50 participating retailers to affix the warning stickers. Local retailers who are participating in the campaign include Giant Food, Safeway, 7-11, CVS and many other small grocery and convenience stores.
We all want the best for the youth in our communities. If provided with alcohol products, youths are not being set up for success and only getting put at a higher risk for substance abuse in their adult lives. Find out about how you can get involved in SAPCA on their website.