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Oregon BALANCE was a free educational program for college women 18-24 years old, who were sexually active and who drank alcohol. It was offered at the University of Oregon Health Services and at Western Oregon University Student Health and Counseling Center. It involved one 75 minute interview and two short follow-ups to track any changes the women made in their drinking or birth control use.
The goals of the program were to:

  • Decrease “risky” drinking and increase effective birth control use so that women would avoid alcohol exposed pregnancy, which could result in a child born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).
  • Decrease women's risk of unwanted sex, sexually transmitted infections, unintended pregnancy, accidents and injuries related to drinking.

The program was based on a researched harm reduction behavior change model that recommended effective contraception use, abstaining from sex and reduced levels of drinking or abstaining from drinking.

  • Overview of Oregon BALANCE (pdf)
  • Oregon BALANCE (PowerPoint)
  • Sex and Alcohol Really Don't Mix (pdf). This article appears in the 2009 Rational Enquirer.

    Media campaign: "Don't Open This!"

    In January 2005, the FAS Prevention Program commissioned Metropolitan Group, a social marketing organization, to test, create, and develop the Don’t Open This! message. Many focus groups were held with young women across the state. Several messages were developed as a result of the input from women. These messages were tested on the campuses of the University of Oregon and Western Oregon University. The Don’t Open This! concept was selected by women as the most memorable and most likely to attract their attention.
    The Don’t Open This! campaign was used to recruit women to participate in Oregon BALANCE. As a result, about 30 percent of women indicated that they heard about BALANCE from the Don’t Open This! campaign.

    Don't Open This! campaign materials: