Students at Inderkum High School who participate in Friday Night Live (FNL) have been a blazing force of positive change in Sacramento County this school year. The students are working to address the environmental conditions—specifically social norms—that promote underage drinking and youth access to alcohol.
FNL, which started in 1984, is a California youth development program that promotes healthy youth lifestyles free from alcohol, tobacco, or other substance use. According to a survey conducted by the National Institutes of Health, adolescent alcohol use stayed about the same in the U.S. during the pandemic, despite perceived barriers of being with parents or family members during the stay-at-home orders, and not being of legal age to purchase alcohol.
The Inderkum FNL chapter is participating in a statewide campaign to tackle underage drinking. The goal is to shift social norms and perceptions of youth alcohol use. Through their Positive Social Norms Campaign, FNL members have led a multi-media initiative, encouraging their peers by highlighting stories about those who are choosing healthy behaviors and remaining alcohol-free.
Students have developed social media messages, youth-targeted posters, adult-targeted educational materials, and public service announcements. They’ve promoted healthy behaviors, safe alternatives for fun, and healthy coping mechanisms. In addition to the positive messages, students are educating community members and students about the risks and dangers of underage drinking.
A survey recently conducted by Inderkum FNL members showed that a majority of students who attended the school during the 2021–22 school year lived drug- and alcohol-free. The students decided to title their campaign “86% of IHS students have not used alcohol. The bullseye is larger than you think!”
Inderkum High School FNL participants are part of a unified effort across 42 California counties to reduce underage drinking. Sacramento County offers FNL in 50 high school and middle school sites countywide, supported by the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) and Sacramento County Health Services, Substance Use Prevention and Treatment. Funding for the program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
More information about the California Friday Night Live Partnership is available online.