Post from Our Blog
January 4, 2023
BENNINGTON, VT – As the state of Vermont reports a mixed picture regarding substance use among young adults, local nonprofits focused on reducing and preventing substance misuse among youth are working to shape the conversation to focus on healthy behaviors. Bennington County Regional Partnership (BCRPP), in conjunction with The Collaborative, is launching a new public service campaign aimed at people aged 18-25 to highlight how local young adults are thriving free from alcohol, cannabis, opioids, nicotine, and other drugs.
According to the Young Adult Survey, young people's riskiest behaviors like binge drinking and impaired driving are in serious decline. Alcohol use remains the substance that most young adults are consuming; cannabis use is increasing. Meanwhile, young adults across the country are shifting the conversation to mental health and the connection to reducing substance use by participating in national movements like No Vape November and Dry January.
According to Samantha Pearce, Community Epidemiologist at The Collaborative, this mixed picture, which was affected in part by the COVID pandemic, creates a new opportunity for public health messaging that encourages healthy choices about substance use among young adults. “As young people in Vermont are making the decision to curtail their use of certain substances, even as use of others is rising, we want to reach out with reassurance that you can have a dynamic, fulfilling life here in Bennington County without using or misusing substances.”
Pearce says that the campaign, which launched in November of 2022 following months of internal development, focuses on the message that young people across Bennington County are reaching their potential together, without drinking alcohol or using cannabis. Multiple versions of the message show young people engaged in the arts, athletics, and other recreational activities.
The campaign meets young adults where they are, you may see it at events such as the Bennington Brew Fest and featuring the important role of designated drivers in safety, health and reaching their potential together. Campaign strategies include social media posts on Instagram, banners and dashboards at community athletic spaces, event sponsorships, video messaging. For opportunities to connect with the campaign, check out reachpotential.me.
Bennington County Regional Prevention Partnership is a community health organization which pursues a public health planning process that fosters community action and collaboration to reduce and prevent underage and binge drinking, prescription drug misuse, and marijuana misuse at the regional level. For more information about BCRPP, contact The Collaborative, firstname.lastname@example.org, 802-824-4200.