The Scott County Positive Social Norms Campaign began in October 2014 called “What’s Your Side Effect?” While educating young people on the realities of prescription drug abuse is important, research has shown that traditional fear-based anti-drug messaging is not particularly effective. Scott County’s social media campaign is prevention-oriented and focuses on providing a voice to those who feel voiceless, in addition to educating, empowering, and inspiring individuals toward lives of positive choices and positive impact on the world around them.
We hold a “What’s Your Side Effect?” Youth Speak Out Event every March where youth age 6-12th grades were asked to write an essay sharing about what they or someone they know is doing to have a positive impact on their friends, school, or community. Each person who participates receives a “What’s Your Side Effect?” T-shirt and a $25 gift card.
The “What’s Your Side Effect?” Film Festival Contest is held every April for all 5-12th grade students in the county, in addition to a Town Hall Meeting on Underage Drinking. This contest provides a platform for Scott County 5th-12th grade filmmakers to RAZZLE, DAZZLE, and leave audiences in AWE with their youth-oriented stories about themselves or someone they know who is having a positive impact and making a difference in others’ lives by serving as a positive role model for their friends, school, or community.
Stand With Us Campaign and Pledge: This is a media campaign with one PSA targeting 12-16 year olds and the other targeting 17-25 year olds. Its message stresses that “most of us are avoiding the dangers of prescription drug abuse” and has a call to action to sign the pledge.
Rx Drug Abuse Prevention Public Education: Large Rx drug abuse displays and take-away information on the warning signs of addiction, and the proper storage and disposal of Rx drugs were placed in medical and dental provider offices, as well as a pharmacy in Austin and a pharmacy in Scottsburg.
What’s Your Side Effect Full Page Newspaper Ads were placed in the weekly newspaper. These focused on Rx drug abuse prevention messaging using the “What’s Your Side Effect?” and “Stand With Us” prescription drug abuse prevention platform, also stressing that “most of us are avoiding the dangers of prescription drug abuse”. Also, Radio Rx drug abuse prevention PSAs aired on the local radio station with the same type of messaging.
The Prevention Coordinator utilizes the www.whatsyoursideeffect.org website extensively as an interactive tool when she speaks to school age youth. She loves the positive social norms messaging and shows the short videos interspersed within her discussion of topics that educate, empower, and inspire Scott County youth toward lives of positive choices and positive impact. Youth get bored hearing one person speak for an entire 30 minutes, so utilizing the short videos within her message keeps their attention more focused.