Activists take aim at adult buyers in teen drinking crackdown
A coalition of activists who have been working to reduce alcohol and drug abuse in the neighborhood are taking direct aim at adults who buy booze for under-age drinkers this week. The Dorchester Substance Abuse Coalition (DSAC) will roll out a â€œsticker shockâ€ campaign today, placing warning labels on cases of beer and brown bags at Harbor Point Liquors on Morrissey Boulevard. The stickers read, â€œHey You!! It is ILLEGAL to provide alcohol for people under 21!â€Teen volunteers from the program will help to stick the labels on the products this afternoon under the supervision of adult mentors.
The initiative has the support of the storeâ€™s owner, longtime Dorchester resident Paul Lynch.
â€œLimiting youth access to alcohol is always a goal of ours,â€ Barry said in a statement issued by the coalition.
DSAC points to results of a recent survey they conducted as a reason for the effort. The survey showed that 60 percent of teens and adults think it would be â€œeasyâ€ to get strangers to buy alcohol for the under-aged. A much higher percentage â€” 91 percentâ€” said it would be even easier to get friends to procure alcohol.
â€œThe best thing about an effort like sticker shock is that it gives youth the opportunity to create the positive change among their peers, and in their community,â€ says Andy Robinson, DSAC Prevention Specialist. â€œThat is exactly what we are trying to do with all of our efforts. Help the youth understand that they are the ones who can have the greatest impact towards positive change.â€
Robinson said that the campaign is timed to hit now as graduation and summer parties gear up. This weekend is also Dorchester Day, when house parties and backyard BBQs often follow the annual parade on Dorchester Avenue.
Formed in 2006, DSACâ€™s mission is "to implement community level strategies in order to reduce and prevent substance abuse while fostering open communication and collaboration between member agencies and Dorchester residents to better inform the community about substance abuse amongst youth."