Empower Youth Network supports student-driven substance use prevention campaigns at Cedarcrest High School (#BeSmartDontStart) and Mount Si High School (#YourLifeYourChoice).
DID YOU KNOW?
Misperceptions about youth substance use are hidden risk factors.
Youth often over estimate the number of their peers who use alcohol and drugs. Youth who perceive the majority of their peers are using substances are more likely to use substances themselves. By focusing on the positive factors that already exist, we can create new norms. When most students believe that their peers do not drink or use drugs, it takes the pressure off of them, and they are more empowered to make safe and healthy choices.
#BeSmartDontStart and #YourLifeYourChoice challenge those misperceptions and create new, more accurate perceptions of youth substance use.
These Positive Community Norms Campaigns are designed to increase awareness and correct misperceived norms around youth substance use. We use data from the WA State Healthy Youth Survey to show there are positive norms that already exist in the community. For example, according to the 2021 WA State Healthy Youth Survey, 92% of 10th grade CHS students and 95% of 10th grade MSHS students did not vape in a typical month.
FOLLOW THESE CAMPAIGNS ON INSTAGRAM
WHAT TO EXPECT THIS YEAR
- Promotional giveaways
- Student focus groups and surveys
- Educational talks on substance use
- Staff and parent communication about campaigns
WHY WE CARE
We have great kids in our community! We want to empower them to make safe and healthy choices. This effort is led by Tara Bergman, Prevention Coordinator with Empower Youth Network.
To talk or text with someone:
- Teen Link: Helpline for Teens by Teens & Resources
- Crisis Connections: Helpline & Resources
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Hotline
Facts and tips:
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: Alcohol's Effects on Health
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: Resources for Middle School
- National Institute on Drug Abuse: Facts & Resources
- Center of Disease Control: Fact Sheet on Underage Drinking
- Child Mind Institute: How to Talk to Your Teen About Substance Use
Overdose facts and information: