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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Sticker Shock Promotes Healthy Living for Youth

Bright pencil-yellow stickers remind adults of the penalties of buying alcohol for youth.
by Robin Gee

Three out of four high school students say it is very easy or somewhat easy to obtain alcohol, and most get it from the adults they know — older friends, siblings or parents, says Sarah White, project coordinator for the Campbell County Drug-Free Alliance.

The Alliance is devoted to preventing substance abuse and promoting healthy living for teens. It’s "Sticker Shock" program is designed to promote awareness of the law and remind adults that buying alcohol for minors could cost them up to $500 in fines and a year in jail.

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Close to 13,700 bright pencil-yellow stickers with the message have been placed in the aisles of stores across the county. Area stores are partners in the program, including the Southside Deli in Fort Thomas and the Shell station on Alexandria Pike near Highland Heights as well as the Party Source in Bellevue.

Brigades of volunteers, including young people from the Brighton Center Youth Leadership Development Program, stickered the area between April and June, prime prom and graduation party season.

Brighton Center Youth Leadership Development Program volunteers spread the word.             
"We’ve been doing the sticker project for four years, and the past two years we’ve partnered with Campbell County Attorney Steve Franzen. It’s been our most successful year yet with 21 stores participating," said White. "Stores are so receptive and see the program as a positive. We are building relationships with retailers across the county."

Celebrating 10 years

The Campbell County Drug-Free Alliance is celebrating it’s tenth anniversary this month. In 2015, the organization received a federal Drug Free Communities grant that provides $125,000 each year for five years to support substance abuse prevention programs.

One hundred percent of the money goes to prevention programming, but White says the Alliance recognizes that the community environment is key in those efforts.

In addition to the sticker program, the Alliance hosts a yearly youth summit in October for students from county high schools to come together for education and to network and brainstorm ideas for prevention efforts within their schools.

"I Drive Distraction Free," is one of two new programs the organization will launch by the beginning of the school year. New drivers will receive a packet of prevention information with their temporary license materials, including a letter to parents or guardians. Posters about the dangers of distracted driving will be placed in high schools, the Campbell County Clerk’s office and the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Changing how information is shared

A lesson plan project designed to change the way substance abuse prevention information is shared with teens also launches this fall. The pilot program will include 36 lesson plans to be integrated into English, math, science and social studies classes.

For the pilot, Dayton High School students will receive the lesson plans, and Silver Grove High School students will serve as the control group. Students will be tested on their prevention knowledge at both schools before and after the pilot lessons to gauge the effectiveness of the program.

"We will use real stories, real information from the Northern Kentucky area in the lessons," said White. Instead of one or two assemblies a year, prevention information will be woven into the curriculum throughout the year, she explained.

The Campbell County Drug-Free Alliance holds open meetings on the second Wednesday of each month at 9 a.m. at the Northern Kentucky Cooperative for Educational Services Building, 5516 E Alexandria Pike in Cold Spring.

Stickers at California Marketplace in California, Kentucky, promote awareness.

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