In the field of substance use prevention, it’s critical to make data-driven decisions when addressing the needs of a given community. Data provides the necessary insights to understand the scope of an issue, its underlying causes, and the most effective strategies for addressing it, and a data-driven approach ensures that resources are directed where they can make the most significant impact. In this article, we explore how New Britain Community Services (NBCS), based in New Britain, Connecticut, leveraged data to address their local conditions and launch an impactful campaign focused on protecting youth from accessing substances in their homes.
Upon receiving results from the Youth Voices Count student survey conducted in February 2022, NBCS learned that young individuals were primarily accessing substances, such as alcohol and prescription opioids, from their homes and the homes of close family and friends.
“We’re really big on involving our coalition every step of the way, so after we received the survey results, we shared them with our local prevention council at a monthly meeting and asked them which data points stood out and what they wanted to focus our efforts on,” shared Tyshaunda Wiley, NBCS’ Prevention Coordinator.
Together, the council decided that their primary goal was to ensure the community understood their role in preventing youth access to substances within their own homes, emphasizing that substance use prevention was a shared responsibility, extending beyond the boundaries of parenthood.
To maximize the reach of their message, NBCS devised a comprehensive strategy that involved several sectors in their efforts. To ensure the campaign was impactful and locally relevant, they engaged a local marketing team in the creation of the campaign’s materials. Additionally, commercials featuring NBCS’ Youth Leadership Council members were created in both English and Spanish and aired across Connecticut morning news networks throughout the month of September.
The Limit Access. Prevention Starts With You. campaign also harnessed the power of social media, billboards, and streaming apps to disseminate their message. Postcards were distributed to 70,000 households in New Britain, which provided a QR code directing recipients to a webpage that served as a hub for resources and information.
NBCS has implemented various measures to track the success of their campaign, including website analytics, viewership statistics, and community feedback. These metrics indicate that the campaign reached nearly one million people in and around New Britain, and thus far, the community’s response has been overwhelmingly positive.
NBCS demonstrated the transformative power of data in driving meaningful change. By leveraging data insights, fostering inclusivity, and utilizing local resources, they successfully engaged their community in vital conversations among families, friends, and neighbors surrounding safe storage best practices. Their message is clear: prevention is everyone’s responsibility, and the well-being of our youth depends on our collective effort to keep them safe from the dangers of substance use.
To learn more about their campaign efforts, head to this recent post on the CADCA Community!