High school prom can be a time of excitement and fun…and drinking. Historically, teens participate in underage drinking during prom, which can lead to irrevocable consequences. In an effort to reduce underage drinking, Floyd Against Drugs (FAD) created the Safe and Sober Prom campaign.
“The campaign had two components which we addressed: underage drinking and social hosting,” said Dan Falcitelli, Director of FAD. “Our focus was on the adults and youth. FAD’s Resource Subcommittee worked with our Youth Action Team and developed the campaign along with a contest we implemented for our youth.”
Located in the northwest corner of Georgia in Floyd County, the area is part of the southern region of Appalachia, which has high rates of adolescent substance use and related health problems. FAD was established in 2000, started by a concerned school counselor who was noticing a trend in illegal drug use amongst youth. In 2015, FAD was awarded the DFC grant. Serving a population of approximately 96,300, the area is classified as urban and a metropolitan statistical area. Floyd County has two public school systems: Floyd County and Rome City.
To participate in the Safe and Sober Prom campaign, the coalition requested students attending prom submit three photographs: before, during and after prom.
The contestants added the #WhatIDidInstead hashtag to their photo submissions. The best photos were selected by judges and a prize was awarded.
To get the message out about the contest, FAD utilized a variety of platforms; on the coalitions Facebook page, 1,877 people were reached; through media outlet advertisements, approximately 35,000 people were reached; and the coalition even posted the contest information on eight billboards to reach 322,000 people!
“This prom season for our youth was very successful in our community. I would have to say that this was definitely a collaborative effort,” said Falcitelli. “Our board members working with our Youth Action Team was crucial for the success of the campaign. Always include your youth voice and have a strong participation from your board members!”