Local Youth Lead the Charge to Reduce Underage Drinking
Monterey County – This year, young people in Monterey County Friday Night Live (FNL) will launch a campaign to tackle underage drinking in Monterey County. Friday Night Live builds partnerships for positive and healthy youth development, engaging youth as active leaders and resources in their communities to create positive changes on important issues that matter to them. Due in large part to changes in legislation and prevention efforts, there has been a 34.5 percent decline in the prevalence of drinking among 12 to 20-year-olds since 2004, yet alcohol remains the most widely used substance amongst youth in the US. Young people in Soledad are on a mission to ensure that underage drinking rates continue to decline.
There is a common misconception that all young people are participating in underage drinking. Misleading depictions of youth perpetuate this false narrative in film, television, and social media. Due to the saturation of these images and messages, many young people may feel isolated in their decision not to drink. The behaviors that a group, such as teens, believes to be acceptable are called social norms, and social norms have been proven to influence behavior. Youth in Friday Night Live will launch a multi-media initiative to counter negative stereotypes of youth’s relation to alcohol and promote positive social norms by highlighting the stories of their peers choosing healthy behaviors and remaining alcohol-free.
With support from the California Friday Night Live Partnership (CFNLP) and a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), students will utilize environmental prevention strategies through youth-led initiatives to educate their peers, neighbors, and local leaders on ways to reduce underage drinking.
Throughout the year-long campaign, youth in FNL will receive training on data collection, environmental prevention, the health risks of underage drinking, public speaking, how to create public service announcements, and leadership development in a collection of valuable lifelong skills.
I love Friday Night Live because they’ve helped me so much and they give such a positive and productive environment to be in. FNL has changed my life, without the opportunities they have given me I don’t know where I would be, it really saved my life and helped me be in a better place than I used to be. – Serina – Pinnacles High School Chapter Member
To me Friday Night Live means family and it has helped me be closer to my community. – Veronica, Friday Night Live PYC Chapter Member
Friday Night Live has made me feel like an engaged leader in my community. – Alexandra – Friday Night Live PYC Chapter Member
To me Friday Night Live means somewhere I can be comfortable, make new friends, and be myself. – Chinemerem, Friday Night Live – Soledad High School Chapter Member
Friday Night Live to me is my safe place, where no thought or word is denied, truly a familial organization. – Gabriel, Friday Night Live PYC Chapter Member
Monterey County Friday Night Live members will join young people in forty-five chapters across California in this collaborative effort to reduce alcohol access for minors and mitigate the damages caused to communities by underage drinking. Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
For more information about Friday Night Live, visit fridaynightlive.org.
2020 Report to Congress on the Prevention and Reduction of Underage Drinking SAMSHA’s Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies