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The Social Norms Approach to Prevention

FCD uses an evidence-based social norms approach to help promote healthy student behavior and attitudes, to correct false beliefs, and to decrease the number of students who use alcohol and other drugs.

The social norms approach to prevention is a simple concept with a profound implication: that sharing healthy truths can reduce student use of alcohol and other drugs.

The reality is that many students at most schools around the world do not regularly use alcohol or other substances. By sharing this information with students, schools help them to hold healthier, more realistic beliefs and to feel less pressure to “fit in” by using substances. In schools that employ it, the social norms approach results in decreased student use of alcohol and other drugs, no matter what initial levels of use look like.

Making Prevention the Norm: Beginning a Social Norms Approach

Interview on Social Norms

Social Norms for Students