The rising use of alcohol and other drugs among teens, including over the counter and prescription drugs, leads to risky behaviors, increased likelihood of dropping out of school, date rape, violence, and other crimes and addictions. Many parents regard drinking as a rite of passage, and are unaware of, or underestimate the risks. Sagent and the Coalition for Placer Youth, with the support from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) developed the “WePledge2” campaign set out to educate, raise awareness, and influence behavior change to reduce the use of alcohol and other drugs by teens in Placer County, and to alter parental perceptions that may inadvertently contribute to the problem.
Our SAGE Approach
To effectively address this complex problem, Sagent dove into research and identified the main target audience – youth ages 11 to 20 and parents of youth in the same age bracket. Then, Sagent gathered scientifically supported facts on the impacts of alcohol and drug abuse to develop key messages for each target audience. A strategic education and outreach campaign was crafted that included,
- Marketing and Outreach Strategy
- Message Development
- Creative Development
- Media Relations
- Partnership Development
- Website Development
- Paid Media
- Social Media
- Outreach and Events
- The California Healthy Kids Survey reported a decreased use of alcohol and prescription drugs in the County; an increased perception of harm; an increased perception of parent and peer disapproval; and decreased access, use and availability of alcohol and prescription drugs.
- The creation of Raising Placer - a network of community coalitions in Placer County to strengthen and sustain prevention efforts county-wide.
- A parent pledge was created “To Be a Part of the Solution for a Healthier, Safer Placer County for Our Teens.” to protect teens against the dangers of alcohol and drugs.
- “Talking with Your Teen: How to Get Started” steps were developed and communicated to parents.
- Youth Voice – a vehicle for youth to share information and the challenges facing youth today on stress and other mental health issues; and Youth in Action – to encourage and highlight positive community involvement by Placer County youth.
- Media coverage for the Coalition’s efforts, equivalent to $7,500 in advertising value.
- Developed and executed dozens of outreach events