WHS students battle underage drinking
by Staff Reports
Members of the WHS Agents of Change club traveled to Hickory on Saturday to join with Catawba County youth in battling underage drinking.
Through "Project Alcopop," the group placed bright yellow stickers reading "Are you 21?" on cans of alcopop, a general term for alcoholic drinks that come in sweet and fruity flavors.
Critics of the products say the design and placement of the drinks make them attractive to youth and difficult to distinguish from non-alcoholic energy drinks. The drinks are often sold in 24-ounce cans that can contain up to 12 percent alcohol.
Saturday's event began with a two-hour training at Catawba County Public Health facilitated by representatives from Youth Empowered Solutions, or YES!
The Watauga High School students, along with members of Catawba County Youth Council, then visited local beverage merchants to place stickers on the tops of alcopops on store shelves. The stickers are designed to draw the attention of youth and parents as well as store clerks.
Project Alcopop is a statewide initiative among N.C. Preventing Underage Drinking communities. The local event was sponsored by Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention of Catawba County.
Agencies that aim to prevent underage drinking also worked recently to oppose Stout 21, a proposed malt beverage billed as a "flavored alcoholic shooter."
The N.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission unanimously rejected the three-ounce tube product March 20, with several commissioners voicing concerns about the appeal for teens.