The Coalition is currently implementing a comprehensive social norming campaign to impact marijuana use.
In most schools, Dover included, there is exaggerated beliefs about drug use by peers.
Students believe there is more drug use than there really is. The Dover Coalition for Youth is implementing a yearlong social norming campaign to address this problem. Social norming is a marketing approach that uses facts to counter misperceptions.
When students have exaggerated belief about drug use they are more likely to use themselves because it seems normal. They feel like they will be accepted and fit in if they use. The Coalition is coming out and making it clear that not everyone’s doing it. The majority of students don’t use and that you are in the norm if you are drug free.
“People will say that everyone at Dover High is smoking or drinking or using drugs. There is a perception that there is a lot of drug use. I’m going in to my junior year and I can tell you that isn’t the case. Not everyone’s doing it.” Says Tina Gibbons a Dover High Junior.
The Majority Rules campaign has been developed in an effort to give students the facts. Each year the Coalition partners with the Dover School Department and surveys students in grades 7 through 12. The campaign uses this data to counter the misperceptions and demonstrate what is really going on.
“Data tells us that 7 out of 10 students don’t drink or smoke pot. The numbers are even higher when it comes to prescription drug abuse with 9 out of 10 saying that they don’t use.” said Vicki Hebert the Coalition’s coordinator.
The campaign is being launched at the start of school and will continue throughout the year. Students will be getting the message through posters, radio ads, video contests and a variety of other ways.