Posters Reduce Substance Use, Consequences Among Tumwater Teens

first_imgSubmitted by TOGETHERTUMWATER – A poster campaign at Tumwater High School reduced youth alcohol and tobacco use over four years, and reduced their experience of negative consequences from alcohol or drug use, such as missing school, performing poorly on a test, turning in late work, or feeling depressed.Preliminary results of the Social Norms campaign at Tumwater High School show youth alcohol and tobacco use trended downward over four years. Most encouraging are improvements in academics. Since 2009, 61.4% fewer students report performing poorly on a test because of alcohol or drug use, and 50.4% fewer students miss school as a result of substance use. Over 40% (43.7%) fewer students now report turning in late papers, missing tests, or failing to study due to alcohol or other drug abuse. In addition, the surveys showed fewer students engaging in risky behaviors than they were before the Social Norms campaign. For example, student run-ins with the police, teens driving under the influence, and unwanted sexual contact as a result of alcohol or drugs all saw reductions.“Overall, I think this has been a really positive experience for our school,” said THS Principal Scott Seaman. Before the campaign, students thought it was cool to be a partier, but now, Seaman says more student leaders are making good choices, which can improve academics, as the data show.Social Norms, run by TOGETHER!, is also under way in 7 other high schools in the area. Through annual surveys, students report their use and perceptions. Results are used to create posters unique to each school that correct misperceptions, teaching students the true statistics: Most of their peers do not use alcohol, tobacco or other drugs. This increases disapproval and reduces usage. TOGETHER! is a nonprofit in Thurston County that works to promote healthy youth decision-making. Facebook1Tweet0Pin0last_img

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