On Wednesday, April 5, students from Lincoln Academy and Wiscasset High School, along with officers from the Wiscasset Police Department and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office will spend the afternoon placing thousands of bright orange stickers on packs of alcohol at local retailers in Wiscasset and Newcastle.
They do this as part of an effort called “Project Sticker Shock” which aims to prevent underage drinking.
Sticker Shock is sponsored by the Maine Office of Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services and aims to reach individuals over age 21 who legally purchase alcohol and provide it to a minor.
A team of youth, accompanied by adult chaperones and local law enforcement officers, will visit stores to place stickers on beer and other appropriate alcoholic beverages. The stickers are designed to remind adults of the risks and impacts of purchasing alcohol for minors. This offense can result in fines up to $2,000 and possible jail time.
The results of recent local youth substance use assessments show that over half of Lincoln County high school students think it would be easy to get alcohol if they wanted it, according to the Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey.
Project Sticker Shock is sponsored by the SUPP Coalition (Substance Use Prevention Partnership) with support from Healthy Lincoln County and the CLC YMCA Teen Leaders Club. The April 5 event is being coordinated by teen leaders Liam Card and Emily Gifford, both of whom are students at Lincoln Academy.
Wiscasset Police School Resource Officer Jonathan Barnes is recruiting Wiscasset students who will participate for the first time.
The event creates a visible environmental change that alters the tone around underage alcohol use and access, but, importantly, it also relies on the students themselves to organize and engage with businesses, law enforcement, and community partners to orchestrate the event. This creates an opportunity for students to build professional skills and play a meaningful role in their community.
The April 5 event follows one that took place in Damariscotta in February, and is a lead up to a county-wide event scheduled to take place in May. Any retailers who are interested in being a Sticker Shock site for future events in 2023 can contact Healthy Lincoln County at 622-7566, ext. 256.