We are launching a media campaign targeting underage alcohol use and underage binge drinking this year! Initially,this will involve radio ads, posters, and social media marketing to reach youth ages 13-16, the age when alcohol experimentation often begins. One of the first images we are releasing can be seen in Figure 1. Chickasaw County schools estimate 80% of students participate in extracurricular activities, we hope to educate students about what they can lose if they choose to drink underage.
“We want to make kids stop and think about their drinking decision,” said coalition president, Diane Brown.“By educating them about what they could lose by making the decision to use alcohol, it empowers them to take control of their life.” According to the University of Minnesota's Alcohol Epidemiology Program, alcohol is the second most heavily advertised product in the U.S. (after cigarettes). Youth often receive messages that show alcohol users as financially successful, fun, attractive, athletic, and popular. This campaign sends a strong message about how drinking can affect their lives and has evidence to show its effectiveness in discouraging underage drinking. The ads feature bottle caps and cans imprinted with words including ‘respect,’ ‘your dreams,’ ‘friendships,’ and ‘your future’ – emphasizing that underage drinking comes at a cost.
To reach youth and make this campaign a success, support is needed from stakeholders including schools, faith-based groups, businesses, and community centers/parks. Please contact us if you're willing to help "get the word out."
For more information on local efforts to prevent and reduce underage drinking and binge drinking, visit our Iowa Partnerships ofr Success Grant page. Additional information on the Grant can be found here.
Carol Hopp, CHES, CPS
Partnerships for Success Coordinator
Pathways Behavioral Services
823 W. Main St.
New Hampton, IA 50659