You’ve heard of young people being encouraged to take a pledge not to drink and drive, or not to have sex before a certain age, etc. But rather than focus on the youth, a coalition in Taos New Mexico is asking the adults to take a pledge to not give alcohol to minors.
In many public places throughout the city, there are banners encouraging people to REFUSE to provide alcohol to youth. The banners cite many of the reasons for doing so: kids who wait to drink have better outcomes, the brain is not developed until age 25, and those who drink early will develop alcohol disorders later in life, etc.
It is an interesting tactic to address a vexing problem. It’s extremely hard for young people to resist the peer pressure to drink, but ultimately it is the adults that are supplying the alcohol. By putting peer pressure on the adults to stop providing, Taos leaders hope to make a dent in their youth drinking that is double the state rate.
Do you have a parallel situation where a change of audience may be more effective toward solving the problem? If your message isn’t reaching those who are most impacted, you may benefit from following Taos’ lead and switching up who you seek to enlist in providing the solution.