Talbot and Dorchester County Health Departments Launch Joint Anti-Underage Drinking Campaign

The Talbot and Dorchester County Health Departments announce the launch of their new campaign, “Be the Parent on the Scene!”, a bi-county effort to decrease teen alcohol consumption in the area.

The campaign is a multi-month full marketing and PR initiative with multimedia elements including radio bytes, mail campaign literature, a comprehensive website, social media initiatives, and both print and online advertisements. The target audience of “Be the Parent on the Scene!” is parents, teens, and the community in general.

The visual advertisements present the campaign’s message in a simple question and answer format with inquiries such as, “What are the risks of teen drinking?” and “What can I do to keep my teen from drinking?”

“Be the Parent on the Scene!” is a social norms marketing campaign. A social norms marketing campaign works strategically to shift people’s perception of what is “normal” or socially typical.

“We hope this campaign will help to realign some of the misconceptions of underage drinking,” says Paula Lowry, Prevention Coordinator of the Talbot County Health Department. “It all starts with the parents. By targeting the adults, we hope to heighten awareness of the problem and get the community to work together to prevent underage drinking.”

Underage drinking is a prominent issue among Eastern Shore teens. The Talbot and Dorchester County Health Departments hope to decrease the amount of underage drinking in the area by reviewing the consequences of buying for minors, encouraging parents to actively discuss the issue of drinking with their teenage children, and reiterating the harmful effects of alcohol consumption.

“Kids may drink to look cool or to fit in, but they don’t realize what they’re getting themselves into,” says Ervina Johnson, AOD Abuse Prevention Supervisor of the Dorchester County Health Department. “There are times when the parents need to step in and take over, and this campaign reassures the adults that it’s ok to do that.”

The “Be the Parent on the Scene!” campaign is funded by the Maryland Alcohol and Drug Abuse Administration, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Talbot County Health Department, and the Dorchester County Health Department.

About the Talbot and Dorchester County Health Departments’ Collaboration

For more information about the campaign and its components, please visit www.theparentonthescene.org.