“Be Under Your Own Influence” communicates that not using drugs and alcohol is an expression of personal identity and autonomy and is consistent with youth aspirations. The messages being communicated are positive and aspirational. The program (currently being researched) is designed to have 11th grade Ambassadors (role models) implement the campaign to 7th graders. It has been found to be effective in lowering substance use among middle school youth in multi-ethnic groups. The Tri-Ethnic Center for Prevention Research is currently adapting the program for American Indian communities. This program has never been used in American Indian communities prior to now, and it is the first time that 11th graders have been included in the implementation of the program. 

The 11th grade role models will communicate the Be Under Your Own Influence message in a variety of ways, including through posters, articles in the media (e.g. the school or community newspaper), school announcements, presentations at assemblies, social media (e.g., Facebook and Instagram), giving out promotional items like pencils and bracelets, YouTube videos, and banners. The role models are the heart and soul of the campaign. The campaign will work only if they work to make it happen. As such, they will need to meet regularly to learn media skills and to put their skills into action. The role models will be tracking what they do, and we will be surveying the 7th graders to see if they are aware of the campaign and whether it is changing attitudes and behavior related to drug and alcohol use.

• Some examples of the posters


• Promotional Items – T-shirts, wristbands, and backpacks

• Business Cards that 11th graders gave to 7th graders to be able to contact them for support


The “Be Under Your Own Influence” program is designed to become a grassroots campaign once the study with the Tri-Ethnic Center for Prevention Research has finished it’s research. American Indian Tribes and Nations will be provided manuals that detail how to implement the campaign in their communities.


For more information or questions about this program, please contact Susan Harness by email or at 970-491-2110

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