Over 50 youth advocates from Dover Youth to Youth and surrounding communities held a demonstration in downtown Dover. The demonstration is designed to raise awareness about our Myth Busters campaign, which compares myths such as aliens and mermaids to the myth that all teens drink or misuse prescription drugs. We hope to raise awareness about how the majority of teens do not engage these risky behaviors.
We are concerned that teens are under the impression that everybody is misusing alcohol and prescription drugs, when that is not at all the case. The fact is, 4 out of 5 teens do not drink alcohol, and 9 out of 10 do not misuse prescription drugs. This information is based on the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey which took information from 1,600 Dover students from grades 7-12.
We know that teens can be influenced by what they believe to be normal activity by their peers. So it is important to make sure our peers and community are educated. That they know the facts, because the perception of drug use among teens is a myth, just as much as Bigfoot.
In order to grab the attention of the public, we have brought large mythical creatures, such as unicorns, aliens, mermaids, and the Lochness Monster to make the point that the misconceptions surrounding teen drug use are just a myth. To get our message across we are also using posters, chants and passing out palm cards to pedestrians.
Following our kickoff event, we will be giving presentations throughout the community raising awareness about our message. We will also record radio PSAs to help bust the myths surrounding underage substance misuse.
We are hoping that our campaign will raise awareness about the fact that not everyone is using alcohol and pills. Cassidy Lanctot, a Youth 2 Youth member attending our program said this: “I hope that by the end of our campaign my friends and people of Dover are more aware that not everyone is doing it.”
Our Myth Busters campaign was kicked off during Dover Youth 2 Youth’s week long Summer Training Program that teaches and empowers youth to take action to prevent harm caused by drug misuse. Over 50 new and existing members of Youth 2 Youth participated in the training program for the entire week. In addition to Dover, students from Washington State, Vermont, and Milton, NH also participated.
In the spring of 2017, over 1,600 students in grades 7 through 12 in the Dover School System took the Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The survey asked about a variety of risky behaviors including youth substance misuse.
The results of the survey demonstrated that the overwhelming majority of Dover teens are not engaged in substance misuse. Below are some of the facts we are highlighting in our campaign.
For more information about the Youth Risk Behavior Survey contact Vicki Hebert at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-516-3279.