Natural High :: A Cool Drug Prevention Tool for Parents
For parents looking for a more effective way to reach their kids on important and sensitive topics like drug prevention, communication through new resources is promising! A national drug abuse prevention organization called Natural High®, Producers of the educational Natural High® DVD Series, creates cool and relevant tools, aimed at 10-15 year olds, that help parents promote living drug free. Not everyone uses drugs and alcohol to get high, and Natural High is out to prove it. Their mission is to encourage youth to find and choose “natural highs” a phrase they’ve coined to mean whatever it is that gets your blood flowing and heart thumping and does not involve drugs and alcohol.
What sets Natural High apart from the typically cheesy drug prevention messages is their content. The Natural High® DVD Series combats the misperceptions that “drugs are cool” and that “everyone uses” with personal testimonies from today’s top athletes and performers who have chosen to live drug free lives and pursue their natural highs. Previous role models included Lisa Leslie (WNBA Star), Tony Hawk (Skateboarding Champion), Gretchen Bleiler (Olympic Snowboarder), Switchfoot (Rock Band) and more! They have successfully made the decision to stay clean look cool, which in itself has drawn the attention of many. As one boy explains, “After I watched the video ‘Natural High’ I learned that people can succeed without drugs. When I saw Laird Hamilton, I was shocked because I surf and I really look up to him. He is one of my favorite surfers and I for sure now will stay drug free. Surfing is an ideal anti drug.” Mrs. Duperock, a counselor from Virginia proclaimed, “It really is the best anti-drug material I’ve ever seen in almost 30 years of education.”
In 2010, Natural High launched an online series and mobile channel, NATURALHIGH.TV, where youth can explore the natural high message on their own terms, without feeling the pressure of the “lecture” from parents or teachers. Watching a pro-surfer like Dillon Perillo tear up the waves while sharing his thoughts on living an anti-drug, pro-passion life, makes the delivery appealing, and inspires teens to share it with friends; further pushing great educational content through social networks, blogs, and mini websites. Parents can use the clips to reinforce the Natural High® DVD Series at home or the anti-drug message in general.
The web can be competitive and demanding, seeking the short attention span of young minds, but Natural High has an advantage by keeping up with technological advancements. In addition to the online series and mobile channel, Natural High has also incorporated their message on the most popular social networking platforms. They have a consistent and active presence on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and others, hoping to reach even more young people directly where they interact. Last month they hosted a mini Facebook contest prompting fans to take a picture of themselves holding a sign with their natural high and keep it as their Facebook profile picture for one week. Fans received a chunky “Natural High” bracelet for participating. “Natural High relies heavily on social sites to spread the word about our message, upcoming videos, and contests,” says Kelly Rogers, Marketing Consultant for Natural High. “Incorporating social media into Natural High was a no brainer; we are encouraging our key demographic, teens, to do what they do best (talk) in the social spheres they spend hours in. They become the voice of the message, which we believe is truly powerful.”
Natural High’s current headlining initiative is the national Natural High Contest where youth have the opportunity to win $250 Natural High Scholarships. The contest rouses youth to identify and proclaim their natural highs via essays, pictures, and videos. The Natural High Contests have been a big hit with teens, parents, educators, counselors, and youth organizations in the past. “What initially got our attention was the idea of a natural high”, said Sam Sandweiss, Winner of the previous PSA Contest that ended last May. “All 3 of us have watched friends fall into a downward spiral of drug and addiction and it’s not a pretty sight. Daniel is very passionate for both rock climbing and living a pure life. Between his natural high and ours (filmmaking), we were very excited to produce an interesting and captivating story that would convince people to live 100% naturally high.” The Natural High Contest is a chance to change the world through a unique message and teen-to-teen contact. The teens take the messages they heard from the celebrities and apply it to their own lives. In doing so, they take a stance on drugs and become a living example for other teens to see and read about. Creative videos from previous contests can be viewed in the “favorites” section of the Natural High YouTube Channel.
What shouldn’t be overlooked though is the one on one discussion that takes place between parents and kids after the credits roll. Parents need to discuss the concept of natural highs and the message of the resources with their kid(s). Great resources are available on their website, www.naturalhigh.org/parents.html, where parents can download and print accompanying activities and discussion guides for free. The creators of Natural High know that the resources are only as powerful as the message that is being reinforced and the values set when one is at home.
Our world is changing, but it doesn’t have to be scary. Natural High® is an example of grabbing the bull by the horns and working with additional media to develop new ways to engage your children. The best thing to do as a parent is to share your thoughts and expectation with drugs on a consistent and constant basis. One conversation with your teen is simply not enough. Ask your children about their natural high(s) and how you can support them in choosing that type of fun over drugs. Don’t get so overwhelmed with having the right answers or words to say that you put the discussion off for a later date. Remember when you try anything new, your must bring a positive attitude. As opposed to scare tactics or threatening statistics, Natural High is easy and fun, facilitating a conversation that focuses on healthy alternatives and an optimal lifestyle!
The Natural High DVDs are available for purchase for $25-30 on their website. For more about Natural High® visit: www.naturalhigh.org.
Celebrities Stay Drug Free with Natural Highs