Social Marketing / Social Norm Campaigns

Research has established that students grossly overestimate the number of peers who engage in alcohol consumption and drug use.  The misperception is believed to influence student behavior – feeling pressure to drink or use drugs because everyone else is doing it. 

The idea behind social norms marketing campaigns is to turn the dynamic around using media, posters, banners and fun activities (such as games) to inform students about the true levels of alcohol consumption and drug use.  The actual levels are much lower than students perceive them to be.  Having accurate information leads to changes in perceptions of drinking and drug norms and in turn leads to fewer students engaging in high risk alcohol and drug use.

Scare Tactics

Don’t work especially with youth – memorable does not always equal effective.  Youth often experiment with drugs and alcohol without serious negative consequences so they discount or ignore the message.  Scare tactics can stigmatize vulnerable populations and harm unintended audiences. 

Weymouth Youth Coalition Annual Sticker Shock Campaign and Weymouth Youth Coalition Annual Takeout Food Campaign

To raise public awareness about the minimum drinking age law and to discourage adults from providing alcohol to minors during Thanksgiving week when alcohol sales are brisk and alcohol related crime is high.  Students affix 200 stickers on bags and hang up to 6 posters in each store at package stores and restaurant throughout Weymouth.  Posters are also hung at Chapman Middle School and Weymouth High School.

Sample Stickers and posters:


Quincy Massachusetts Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative (MOAPC)

a program of Bay State Community Services. MOAPC includes the communities of Quincy, Braintree, Randolph, Stoughton and Weymouth.

SAPC & Rethink the Drinks

Rethink the Drinks Website.

The Substance Abuse Prevention Collaborative (SAPC) is a grant program that works to prevent underage drinking and other drug use across Massachusetts.  The Department of Public Health, Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS) funds local communities across the state to use proven-effective strategies to reduce substance use among high-school aged youth.

BSAS also funds the Massachusetts Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative (MOAPC) which works to prevent opioid misuse and opioid overdoses.  The Partnerships for Success 2015 (PFS15) grant works to prevent prescription drug misuse and abuse among high-school aged youth across the state.

All three of these grants follow the Strategic Prevention Framework, a strategic planning process which focuses on ensuring programs implemented in communities are informed by data, are culturally sensitive, sustainable and proven to be effective in preventing and reducing substance use. Learn more about the Strategic Prevention Framework.

Members of the Quincy Area SAPC: Braintree, Quincy, Milton, and Weymouth.