Local youth work to ‘flip the script’ on underage drinking
–Students enrolled in the Paso Robles High School, Templeton High School, Shandon High School, and Los Osos Middle School Friday Night Live (FNL) chapters are working on a year-long social norms campaign that seeks to tackle the issue of underage drinking.
The campaign is part of a larger statewide effort to reduce underage drinking. Thirty-five FNL chapters are working to change social norms in communities across California. In general, young people tend to overestimate the number of their peers who choose to partake in underage drinking. Friday Night Live students are challenging this misperception by promoting positive messaging to not using alcohol before age 21.
“I always thought that so many more kids my age drank, and it was a big insecurity of mine since I do not partake in that type of activity,” stated a Templeton High School senior. “Seeing that there are more people like me has taken a large pressure off my shoulders of thinking I need to and has helped me learn that norms are not the true rules to society.”
Through weekly chapter meetings during the 2020-2021 school year, students learned about local data debunking the myths v. facts of underaged drinking norms. Students then worked to develop youth-targeted posters, adult-targeted educational materials, and a public service announcement to promote positive norms that support young people’s healthy choices.
Friday Night Live encourages the public to be on the lookout for their awareness posters at local restaurants, liquor stores, and other community spaces and to continue to support conversations with youth about underage drinking.