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TOPS, local alcohol abuse prevention coalition fight underage drinking

by jmaloni
Wed, Mar 28th 2012 08:10 am

TOPS Friendly Markets announced Tuesday that, in honor of Alcohol Awareness Month, the company has partnered with Px20, a collaboration of Erie County agencies dedicated to preventing substance abuse and promoting mental and physical health, to raise awareness of underage drinking. Alcohol Awareness Month is observed during the month of April.

Px20 agencies were at Tops Friendly Markets' Elmwood Avenue location to announce local efforts around raising awareness of underage drinking, as well as conduct "Project Sticker Shock," a program designed to remind consumers that it is illegal for anyone age 21 or older to purchase or provide alcohol to minors.

Nationwide, approximately 10 million people under the age of 21 drank alcohol in the last month according to the latest data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. According to survey data collected in the Western New York area, 70 percent of local teen drinkers start at age 15 or younger.

Participants in the event included Sean Simet, Erie County Sheriff's Office captain of patrol services; Andrea J. Wanat, executive director of Erie County Council for the Prevention of Alcohol and Substance Abuse; Matt Smith, executive director of Preventionfocus Inc.; Pete Hill, health and wellness coordinator of Native American Community Services; Craig Dumbleton, vice president and key account relationships and marketing, Try It Distributing; and, Andy Brocato, Tops Friendly Markets director of community relations.

Immediately following the press conference, the group conducted Project Sticker Shock, a stickering program in the alcoholic beverage aisle at Tops by placing brightly colored stickers on multipacks of beer and other alcoholic beverages. The stickers provide warning messages to purchasers about the penalties for furnishing alcohol to minors and are placed on all multi-packs of beer, wine coolers, and other alcohol products that might appeal to underage drinkers.

National Alcohol Awareness Month is designed to highlight the numerous health and safety problems caused by excessive drinking by anyone, and to educate teens and parents about the dangers of underage drinking.

About Px20

Px20 is the coordinating council of prevention service providers formed as part of implementing the "Comprehensive Prevention Plan: Erie County Department of Mental Health 2009-2012" to enhance coordinated, collaborative prevention activities in Erie County. "Px" is shorthand for "prevention," while "20" places the group's focus in the 21st century by allowing continuing initiatives to be labeled Px2010, Px2011, etc.

To learn more, visit www.px20.org.

For more information about Tops Markets, visit the company's website at www.topsmarkets.com.

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