VENTNOR — Armed with neon-orange stickers, high school teens filtered through the aisles of two local liquor stores Tuesday morning, not to buy, but to raise awareness of substance misuse among minors.

Student members of the Stand Up and Rebel young adult-health advocacy group, a part of the Join Together Atlantic County coalition, held their semi-regular “Sticker Shock” campaign in anticipation of July 4 weekend.

The stickers reading “KEEP IT LEGAL” are designed to explain the legal consequences of drinking under age to dissuade young adults and teens from drinking and keep them out from behind the wheel of a car, said Amanda Hartman, certified health education specialist and liaison for Join Together Atlantic County.

“It’s to remind people who are coming in to buy to not sell or buy for anyone who is under the age of 21. This is really for someone who is buying the beer and planning on giving it to someone else,” especially around holidays when drinking is common, Hartman said.

Jean Haselwood, a high school senior from Egg Harbor Township, said he finds this health advocacy work to be the best use of his spare time, describing the impact of substance abuse on his family.

“I wouldn’t want to see my friends deal with it or go down the same path. … Just try to balance yourself,” Haselwood said. “Don’t drink and drive.”

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