One Choice for Health: A Data-Informed, Youth-Driven Prevention Message
The Institute for Behavior and Health has analyzed national data on youth substance use behaviors with two important updated findings relevant to the work of all community coalitions. First, for young people, the use of all substances is closely related. Use of any one substance (alcohol, nicotine, or marijuana) dramatically increases the likelihood of using the other two and other illicit drugs. Similarly, not using any one of these substances significantly decreases the likelihood of using the other two or other illicit drugs. Second, the percentage of American youth making the decision not to use any substances has been steadily increasing for nearly four decades. Informed by these data and by the unique vulnerability of the adolescent brain, the goal of youth prevention can be reframed as, One Choice: Do not use any alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, or other drugs under age 21 for reasons of health.
At the end of this session, participants will be able to: Describe national youth drug trends and their implications for youth prevention messaging. Articulate the One Choice prevention message and how it is rooted in the unique vulnerability of the adolescent brain to substance use. Identify how coalitions, communities and prevention leaders can integrate One Choice message into all other youth prevention efforts.