Maternal Alcohol and Marijuana Awareness (MAMA) and Prevention Project

State: New Hampshire

Client(s): NH Charitable Foundation

Services: Health Communication, Applied Research & Evaluation

Technical Expertise: Family Planning & Reproductive Health, Maternal and Child Health, Population Health, Substance Use


New Hampshire has some of the highest rates of substance misuse in the country. Prevalence of past 30-day use of alcohol and marijuana, and marijuana use in the past year are significantly higher than average rates in the United States and the northeast region of the US. In NH over 1/3 of all pregnant women reported they did not receive information from their healthcare provider about the effects of illicit drugs on their baby. Furthermore, almost half of all pregnancies in NH and in the US are unintended.

Building off an assessment of NH women’s perceptions of alcohol and marijuana use conducted by JSI in SFY18 (Maternal Substance Use Prevention), JSI will execute a multi-media social marketing campaign with the goal of reducing the use of alcohol and marijuana among women of reproductive age and increasing guideline adherence by healthcare providers serving women planning or experiencing a pregnancy. Findings underscore the need for a health campaign aimed at reducing alcohol and/or marijuana that emphasizes the health of the developing fetus and the autonomy of the pregnant woman.

The campaign approach is 2-prong to:

  • Employ a mix of digital media to reach the women directly.
  • Develop tools for healthcare providers to educate and engage patients.
Given national and state data indicate significant differences in the demographics and sociographic of those at risk of use during pregnancy, JSI will create a campaign that focuses on avoiding all types alcohol during pregnancy in the first year of the project. Messaging and print material for providers will focus on the clinical guidelines, talking points for a brief intervention and available behavioral health treatment resources if needed. Further research is needed to understand the factors placing those at risk of marijuana use during pregnancy. Key activities include:
  • Campaign planning to select strategies
  • Key message development
  • Consumer research
  • Provider research on clinical guideline adherence and marijuana use
  • Media asset production (i.e., video, message and image bank, microsite)
  • Material production
  • Digital and traditional campaign execution
Consumer focus groups will provide key insights about what makes a compelling campaign and provider interviews and a facilitated discussion will inform professional material. A variety of data mining tools will precisely target the intended audience. On-going A/B testing will assess consumer engagement to ensure effectiveness for specific content. Data from A/B testing optimizes the best performing imagery and copy. Other insights and key performance indicators are: impressions, engagement, reach and frequency. Long-term JSI will monitor PRAMS data.