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Check Yourself is the first Partnership for a Drug-Free America program to move beyond our traditional mission of persuading youth not to try drugs.

Check Yourself is conceived as a teen-owned movement, reaching older adolescents (roughly 15-18) who have begun to abuse drugs and alcohol and are at risk for drifting further into dependency. The goal of the movement is to normalize teen watchfulness about getting high, and to offer information and help to teens who decide they're getting in deeper than they ever intended.

The campaign is grounded in extensive research among at-risk teens, as well as input from experts in the public health and substance abuse treatment fields.

Check Yourself television advertising will hold up a mirror to early-using teens, and suggest that as they develop a relationship with drugs and alcohol, they may be closer to harming themselves than they realize. Each TV psa will conclude with the simple, non-judgmental message, "check yourself," and will direct viewers to a dedicated website, www.checkyourself.com.

"Live announce" radio messages and guerrilla marketing techniques - rack postcards, stickers, wild postings - will further raise awareness of the Check Yourself concept, infiltrate the phrase into teen culture, and drive traffic to the website.

The Check Yourself website - www.checkyourself.com - is a new and innovative web-based resource for at-risk teens, a place where they can re-think their own attitudes towards drugs and alcohol, interact with peers with similar concerns about their substance use, and learn how to get the kind of information, counseling or treatment they need. It's a pioneering use of the internet that can make an important difference in the lives of teens who may be headed for trouble.

The attitude of all Check Yourself communication will mark a clear departure from the somewhat parental tone of much past PDFA advertising; it will take the voice of a sympathetic but wise older sibling, someone who understands well the target teen's environment and motivations, but is experienced enough to know that drug and alcohol use has a way of sneaking up on you.

Ultimately, by reaching at-risk teens with a meaningful message, as well as needed information and resources, we hope to interrupt early-using teens' progression from dabbling to heavier use to dependency. We hope to achieve a significant reduction in regular, habitual use of drugs and alcohol among teens.


Partnership for a Drug-Free America

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