Draw the Line Between Youth and Alcohol – South Cowlitz County



South Cowlitz County Retailers Recognized for

Drawing the Line Between Youth and Alcohol

The Kalama Prevention Club – Kalama Middle/High School, Kalama Safe Community Coalition and Cowlitz Community Network joined together to Draw the Line Between Youth and Alcohol.

“Underage drinking is a pressing public health concern that affects the health and well-being of our youth, their families and our communities”, said Tobie Crocker of the Kalama Safe Community Coalition.  “We are drawing the line because alcohol is especially harmful to the still-developing teen brain. Physical and sexual assault, traffic fatalities, suicide, brain impairment, academic problems, alcohol dependence, poor work performance and alcohol poisoning are some of the costly health and social problems resulting from underage drinking. Teens who drink are four times more likely to develop alcohol problems as adults.”

The Kalama Prevention Club youth visited stores in South Cowlitz County, met with the store owners/managers and conducted a survey at each store to learn more about their practices for placing alcohol, tobacco and fresh fruits and vegetables in the stores and how they are advertised.

Eight of the stores visited did an excellent job of supporting youth in making healthy choices and avoiding alcohol use. They are: Carrolls Country Store, Camp Kalama, Kalama Chevron, Kalama Shopping Center, Lewis River Golf Course and Restaurant, Lewis River Country Store, Woodland Quickway Market, and Woodland Shell. The stores received Certificates of Appreciation and were recognized at a Kalama City Council meeting.

The youth also learned about the steps stores are taking to keep alcohol from underage youth. One store owner said if someone is buying alcohol and doesn’t look 40 years old or older, they check their ID. Another owner said they have a no tolerance policy for people purchasing alcohol illegally for youth. They’ve caught people on their camera and call the authorities for prosecution.

“This was a great project for us”, said Morgan Connelly, one of the Prevention Club youth.  “The store owners/managers were very supportive and interested in our survey results. They were open to suggestions and seemed to be very happy to have us visit.”

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