In an effort to make our kids SAFE in Sag Harbor, we have embarked on an informational mail campaign to all residents of the school district. The first three mailings recent went out. Here is the first:
To bring attention to the opioid misuse epidemic, volunteer students placed purple balloons at participating Sag Harbor stores, as part of International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31.
On the same day, volunteers worked with local law enforcement, with support from elected officials, to set up a secure collection point, as part of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, officially held on August 22.
Volunteers with SAFE in Sag Harbor manned a table at HarborFest in early September, providing information about the organization, activities and supporting a favorite local event.
On Monday, August 6, SAFE in Sag Harbor, Sag Harbor Village Police, and HUGS, Inc., participated in a youth-led initiative to raise public awareness and change adult attitudes about providing alcohol to minors at local Sag Harbor businesses. Project Sticker Shock is a nation-wide program making an effort to reach adults who may be tempted to buy or provide alcohol for those under the age of 21. The consequences for supplying alcohol to minors, as well as hosting a party where underage drinking is allowed, are a fine up to $1000 or up to one year in jail.
The SAFE stickers stand out on the beer cases and other alcoholic beverages for all to see, and provide a strong reminder: to STOP, It is illegal to purchase or give alcohol to anyone under the age of 21; Penalties, fines, and jail time under Suffolk County and New York State Laws.
When adults supply alcohol to youth it sends a mixed message. Underage drinking is not a teen problem, but a community problem. Adults, youth, law enforcement, and retail stores need to be part of the solution. Student volunteers will place placards in store windows and stickers on cases to create awareness of the problems and penalties associated with underage drinking.
“A strong community message is sent when local businesses take responsibility for speaking out against underage drinking” says Kym Laube, Executive Director of HUGS, Inc. Laube states, “As we are in the midst of a National Epidemic, we must do all that we can to protect our youth. Keeping alcohol out of our youth’s developing brains does just that.”
Sag Harbor youth identify alcohol as the number one drug of choice and report that alcohol is the easiest substance to obtain. The Sticker Shock Campaign hopes to cause adults to think twice before making it any easier for youth to have access alcohol and to remind the community that youth are out most natural resource.