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S.W.A.T. students bring awareness to underage drinking

April is Alcohol Awareness Month and on April 20 Students Working for Alcohol Truths from Otto Shortell Middle School placed over 1,000 stickers on alcohol products throughout the Rite Aid and Price Chopper Stores in Oneida.

The project is called "Sticker Shock" and was originally developed by Mothers Against Drunk Driving. S.W.A.T. customized the sticker for local distribution. The goal of Sticker Shock is to raise awareness about the legal consequences for someone 21 and older who buys alcohol for a minor.

Lori Petrofski, manager for Rite Aid said, "Sticker Shock goes right along with what we are trying to do here; prevent the sale of alcohol to minors". Petrofksi also said that at Rite Aid, the manager has a right to request the ID's of anyone in the company of an individual buying alcohol, even if those individuals are outside the store, in a vehicle. As with Sticker Shock, the goal is to prevent underage sales.

"Sticker Shock makes me feel good about myself; I feel like I am really doing something good." Said S.W.A.T. member, Sally Sgarlata of the program.

Alcohol remains the most widely abused drug for teens in our community and nationwide. According to youth in Madison County, the number one place they report getting alcohol is from older adults and parents. Some adults think it's okay to supply alcohol to minors thinking that if they are drinking under supervision, in the home, then it is safe.

Alcohol consumption for minors is never safe and there are many consequences that can come from allowing teens to drink in the home such as accidental overdose, falls and other accidents, and poor decision making. The overall goal of Sticker Shock is to prevent alcohol from getting into the hands of those under 21.

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