Missouri's Youth/Adult Alliance introduces Alcopops awareness kit

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Missouri's Youth/Adult Alliance (MYAA), a statewide organization specializing in underage drinking prevention, announces a resource that urges parents, schools, law enforcement, and retailer workers to look twice at what youth are buying and drinking. Many may not be aware of a current trend in alcoholic beverages that is very inviting to youth. This alcopops awareness kit provides information and suggestions for raising awareness of an issue which is currently camouflaged.

'Alcopops' are alcoholic drinks that taste sweet and very much resemble fruit juices, teas, and energy drinks that are already popular with youth. The marketing of these products employs methods which reach and appeal to youth, while prices remain low due to tax classification as a beer.

The cans and bottles that are used to package most alcopops are nearly identical to their non-alcoholic counterparts. Upon inspection, three items will distinguish the products: nutritional facts will be listed on non-alcoholic beverages, but not on those with alcohol. On alcoholic drinks, the percentage of alcohol and the Surgeon General's warning will be present somewhere on the can or bottle, though it may be hard to find.

These products not only mislead young consumers by mimicking non-alcoholic products; they dupe parents as well. An 18 year old girl's Facebook page states, "I had a six pack of [alcopops] in my room and my mom found it, but she had no idea and thought they were just energy drinks."

Missouri's Youth/Adult Alliance's, Debunking the Disguise: An Alcopops Awareness Kit, contains information about Alcopops and how to raise awareness in your community. The kit also includes a post card which can be sent to members of your community to raise awareness of the issue. Copies of the kit and additional post cards are now available through MYAA. Call 573-635-6669 or visit our website at www.myaa.org.

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