The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has revised “Prevention With Purpose: A Strategic Planning Guide for Preventing Drug Misuse Among College Students” with new information! The guide provides a road map for college- and university-based prevention professionals to collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders in addressing campus-wide drug misuse issues.
In this 2024 edition of the guide—first published in 2020—you will find updated data, real-life stories from campus prevention professionals focused on unique or innovative approaches to SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF), ways to consider cultural factors in each step of the SPF, and strategies for success during times of disruption to campus life.
SAMHSA's ninth round the Communities Talk to Prevent Alcohol and Other Drug Misuse initiative recently launched in January 2024. The initiative aims to prevent alcohol and other drug misuse among individuals aged 12-25 years old in communities nationwide. Since 2006, the initiative has provided prevention resources and planning stipends to thousands of community-based organizations, colleges, and universities.
Please share thisopportunity with your network. SAMHSA continues to offer organizations a $750 planning stipend to conduct a Communities Talk activity. Planning stipends are limited, so request an invitation as soon as possible.
If your organization is interested in participating, email email@example.com to request an invitation.
The “Talk. They Hear You.”® campaign’s social media training focused on best practices and strategies to enhance the visibility of prevention and intervention organizations. The training covered establishing social media metrics, developing S.M.A.R.T social media goals, using content development tools, increasing engagement and expanding to new platforms, and utilizing social media management tools. If you missed the training you can access it through the full-session recording and presentation slides.
SAMHSA has a challenge for America’s youth: Help us raise awareness about fentanyl and reduce teen overdose deaths. FentAlert: Empowering Youth for Safer Choices—SAMHSA Fentanyl Awareness Youth Challenge is an opportunity for youth (ages 14–18) to develop a community strategy to educate their peers about fentanyl and fake pills, and to prevent drug overdose deaths. The top six ideas will be awarded a $5,000 prize each, and up to 25 youth will receive a $2,000 honorable mention prize. Youth can participate individually or as part of a team. Please review the rules and judging criteria. Submissions are due by 6 p.m. ET on February 26, 2024. Please share this opportunity to support young people’s voices for a future where they and their peers can thrive.
In this webinar, viewers hear from the SAMHSA’s CSAP Director Captain Chris Jones and two Communities Talk event hosts. David Kenyon is the advisor for a chapter of Friday Night Live in California. He, along with some of the youth from the chapter, speak about their event that focused on alcohol and substance use, mental health, and fentanyl. Yvonka Hall is the executive director of the Northeast Ohio Black Health Coalition. Their event was an educational session for high school students within the Cleveland Municipal School District. Hear how she worked to develop a meaningful relationship with the school district and fostered a partnership with Black Lives Matter (BLM) Cleveland.
In this webinar, viewers learn why storytelling is an important tool in prevention efforts, as well as hear storytelling strategies from experts in the field. The webinar features Joseph Green of LMSvoice, an award-winning storyteller. He explains why using narrative disruption in storytelling has great impact. He also shares the importance of value-centered storytelling when engaging with people in the recovery community and youth involved in prevention. The Value of Storytelling to Enhance Prevention webinar video can be found on SAMHSA’s YouTube channel.
Join your colleagues at SAMHSA’s 20th Prevention Day (SPD), taking place on Monday, January 29, 2024. The day is dedicated to exploring current innovations, reflecting on past accomplishments, and charting a course for the future of prevention. SPD is held in conjunction with the CADCA National Leadership Forum at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. SPD is a free event, but registration is required.
The holiday season can be filled with joy and celebrations. It also can trigger difficult emotions, thoughts, or behaviors—which can affect mental health and increase substance use (including alcohol). Use SAMHSA’s new Holiday Toolkit to let those in your community know that confidential support is available 24/7 for both mental health and substance use.
The PTTC Network offers training and events to help you with your prevention work. Here are some that you may be interested in. To learn more about future PTTC webinars visit the Events Calendar.
In case you missed it, be sure to watch the Communities Talk About: Fentanyl Use Prevention in Youth and Young Adults webinar from June 21, 2023. Featured is a discussion on the prevention of fentanyl use, the effects of fentanyl laced with other substances such as xylazine, and the growing threat of fentanyl use among young people. Presenters included:
The Thanksgiving holiday season is one of the busiest travel times of the year. Unfortunately, more people on the roadways means the potential for more vehicle crashes. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
Teens’ inexperience behind the wheel makes them more susceptible to distraction while driving. One in three teens who text say they have done so while driving. NHTSA has information you can use with parents to motivate them to talk with their teens. Urge them to remind their teen that underage drinking is illegal and driving under the influence of any impairing substance—including illicit, over-the-counter, and prescription drugs—could have deadly consequences.
SAMHSA aims to increase public awareness surrounding mental health and addiction recovery during Recovery Month. In the years since Recovery Month launched, SAMHSA has timed announcements of initiatives and grant funding during Recovery Month, while collaborating with private and public entities to celebrate individuals during their long-term recoveries.
Please join DEA and participate in this year’s Red Ribbon Week. Each year, from October 23-31, individuals, schools, and communities across the United States show their commitment to a healthy, drug-free lifestyle by wearing or displaying a red ribbon. This annual event offers a great opportunity for parents, teachers, students, and community members to raise awareness of the problem of drug use and misuse. This year’s Red Ribbon Week theme is “Be Kind to Your Mind, Live Drug Free.” The Red Ribbon Week Toolkit includes including downloadable graphics, fact cards, student and parent pledges, and ways to support Red Ribbon Week in your schools and communities.
The New England PTTC held a Fellowship Symposium focusing on practical resources to address the root causes of substance misuse. The PTTC created six new research-based tools and resources for the substance misuse prevention workforce to support their work in New England. The resources can be applied to other regions in the United States. You can view the recorded webinar and learn details about the resources described below.
Colleges and universities provide ongoing support for their students, including programs and activities to prevent alcohol and other substance use and misuse. Unfortunately, it’s harder to reach those who do not attend college full-time. The prevalence of substance misuse among transition-age youth who do not attend a four-year college or university is as high as, if not higher than, that of their college-attending peers.
The Communities Talk About Prevention podcast series has real-world examples of ways community-based organizations and institutions of higher education are advancing substance use prevention in their own communities. Three episodes are available now.
SAMHSA has tips and resources to help you move forward after your activity, including:
SAMHSA has updated drinking prevention publications with the latest NSDUH data as well as other important information. More updated publications will be available soon!
As you know, substance use prevention promotes healthier communities and enhances overall population health. Prevention mitigates health behaviors related to premature death and chronic health conditions. Prevention also increases access to evidence-based services and supports for individuals, families, and communities to reduce health disparities and address social determinants of health.
Overdose deaths among youth and young adults have increased significantly in recent years. Synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, are the most common drugs involved in overdose deaths.
David Arnold, who is leaving NASPA, is featured in the DEA’s Campus Drug Prevention “View from the Field.” He speaks about the importance of unlearning that there is a one-size-fits-all solution, and dissects the root causes of why prevention is so prone to distraction, as well as the factors that should inform a modern approach to the field.
It’s the time of year for end-of-school celebrations and graduation parties. Adults may not know the social host laws or host party policies in their state.
Learn from your colleagues about their successful prevention strategies by attending the next Communities Talk webinar, and don’t miss these helpful PPTC webinars.
Celebrate Alcohol Awareness Month by hosting a Communities Talk event in April and linking the event to national and local coverage of the observance, maximizing your promotional efforts. Read on for resources you can use when planning your event! And don’t forget to read Communities Talk success stories as inspiration for activities that are working across the country to prevent underage drinking.
A new program by SAMHSA’s “Talk. They Hear You.”® campaign, “Parents’ Night Out,” provides parents in your community with the information, skills, and tools they need to feel comfortable talking with their kids about underage drinking and other drug use. The “Parents’ Night Out” materials are intended to be used for community implementation, either virtually or in person. Comprehensive toolkits are available for download and include all materials needed to implement either a 1-hour “Parents’ Night Out” session or a series of three 1-hour program sessions. Each interactive session should be led by a facilitator, and this person can be a teacher, administrator, classroom aide, student support staff member, trained parent or caregiver, or community group volunteer.
The Northwest PTTC has developed an Alcohol Awareness Toolkit to use during Alcohol Awareness Month. The Alcohol Awareness Toolkit will help you raise awareness about alcohol-related harms and the importance of strong alcohol policies. It also encourages engagement from prevention and public health stakeholders to strategically educate and inform decision-makers about effective alcohol policies by providing easy-to-personalize, templated opinion editorials, letters to legislators, and proclamations.
Communities Talk About Prevention podcast episode 3 is available now! Hear from three community members that developed their own public service announcements and leveraged social media to join SAMHSA’s National Prevention Week. They share how they developed their activities and saw them through to completion and success. If you’ve missed other episodes be sure to check them out. Episode 3 is available on SAMHSA’s YouTube page and all episodes are available on the Communities Talk About Prevention podcast page.
You’ll find many resources to help you register your Communities Talk activity on this site. The updated FAQ is a good place to start to find out details about the Communities Talk initiative, registering, and stipends. Another great resource is the Quick Start Planning Guide. It includes detailed steps for planning an activity, tips for promoting an activity using traditional and social media, tips for sharing your work, and how you can use your stipend. Register your event soon! Stipends are going quickly. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for information about hosting an event in 2023.
SAMHSA has released the results of its annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), which shows how people living in America reported about their experience with mental health conditions, substance use, and pursuit of treatment in 2021. The 2021 NSDUH national report is the most comprehensive report on substance use and mental health indicators that SAMHSA has released to date.
SAMHSA’s Prevention Day is January 30, 2023. Don’t miss this free one-day event! Participants will have the opportunity to network with other preventionists and partners; take part in engaging and informative workshops to enhance their program skills; and share success stories and resources. This year we will end the day with an exciting in-person planning kick-off of the upcoming National Prevention Week, taking place May 7–13, 2023! Register here.
SAMHSA’s eighth round of the Communities Talk to Prevent Alcohol and Other Drug Misuse initiative has begun. Join substance misuse prevention professionals throughout the country in hosting a Communities Talk activity in 2023. Since 2006, the initiative has provided prevention resources and planning stipends to thousands of community-based organizations, colleges, and universities.
This free one-day event provides an exciting forum for to learn about the latest developments in the areas of substance abuse prevention, treatment, recovery, and mental illness. Participants will have the opportunity to network with other preventionists and partners; take part in engaging and informative workshops to enhance their program skills; and share success stories and resources. This year we will end the day with an exciting in person planning kick-off of the upcoming National Prevention Week taking place May 7-13, 2023! Register here.
While underage drinking has been the focus of Communities Talk events, communities can also address misuse of other drugs and promote positive mental health. Success Stories can give you some ideas to build on. For instance, Oregon the Tigard Turns the Tide Coalition held an event addressing mental health and wellness due to an increase in drinking and drug use as a coping mechanism during the pandemic. Students created a social media campaign, creating videos to help students coping with stress and anxiety. Read more, and view the videos, in their success story Hope and Beyond Mental Health Matters.
The SAMHSA-funded PTTC Networks provide technical assistance and learning resources you can use in your substance misuse prevention efforts. Stay on top of the latest news from the Networks, as well as current topics in addiction prevention, by subscribing to the PTTCPost.
The holiday season, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, is one of the deadliest times of the year due to impaired driving. The need to address impaired driving by young drivers is urgent; they report driving while under the influence more often than older drivers.
Transition-age youth (TAY) who are not attending college full time are at an increased risk for substance use disorders compared to TAY who are on a college campus. In addition, there are few national resources to help the prevention field communicate with this population.
Red Ribbon Week, America’s oldest and largest drug prevention awareness program, takes place on October 23–31. This is a great opportunity for parents, teachers, educators, and community organizations to raise awareness about substance misuse. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has created a Red Ribbon Toolkit with resources to use with your community.
This October during National Hispanic Heritage Month, plan prevention events for your Hispanic and Latino community members using SAMHSA resources. Some of the many Spanish-language materials include:
Parents can be the biggest influencers on teens’ choices behind the wheel if they take the time to talk with their teens about some of the biggest driving risks. During National Teen Diver Safety Week, (October 16–22), encourage parents and other concerned adults to have conversations with teens about the important rules they need to follow to stay safe behind the wheel. The Department of Transportation has developed fact sheets, sample news releases, social media messages, and more to amplify the safe driving message. Find them on the National Teen Driver Safety Week website.
Thursday, October 20, is the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The day reflects DEA’s commitment to Americans’ safety and health, encouraging the public to remove unneeded medications from their homes as a measure of preventing medication misuse and opioid addiction from ever starting. Visit the Take Back Day website to find resources to help dispose of unneeded medications, watch PSAs, and learn more about the drug overdose epidemic in the United States.
Whether you are planning a Communities Talk or other prevention event, SAMHSA’s new Event Planner application has resources and event management capabilities that enable you to succeed. You’ll find resources to help you plan your event, as well as create tasks and collaborate with others as you plan.
Back-to-School and College: Substance Misuse Prevention Strategies
Summer’s over and students are heading back to school and college. It’s an important time for parents and caregivers to connect with teens and young adults to reinforce clear no-use rules about alcohol and other substances. Teachers, counselors, and administrators can be prepared with evidence-based prevention tools to help teens and young adults make smart choices for their future health and well-being.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2020 an estimated 32 percent of 18- to 20-year-olds and 9 percent of 12- to 20- year-olds reported monthly alcohol use.1 About 20 percent of 18- to 20-year-olds and 6 percent of 12- to 20- year-olds reported using marijuana in the past month.2 Resources from the federal Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking (ICCPUD) can help prepare you to reduce youth substance misuse and lay the groundwork for a healthy school year.
Prevention Resources from ICCPUD agencies
New! Web page on Substance Misuse Among Transition-Age Youth Not Attending College
Did you know that the prevalence of substance misuse among transition-age youth who do not attend a four-year college or university is as high as, if not higher than, that of their college-attending peers?1 SAMHSA has developed a NEW web page to fill the gap in prevention messaging and efforts when it comes to this group. This webpage includes information on the prevalence of substance misuse by this population, along with tips and resources for substance misuse prevention professionals and others working with transition-age youth. Visit the web page to find the facts and services you need to help young adults in your community avoid substance misuse and make healthy choices!
National Prevention Week 2022: Watch it Now!
This year’s National Prevention Week has already passed, but if you missed a session or couldn’t attend, there’s good news! Read the full article for links to view the sessions through the NPW virtual platform.
“Communities Talk About” Webinar Addresses Intersectionality
Did you miss the first episode of SAMHSA’s new online learning series “Communities Talk About?” The inaugural webinar episode, “Communities Talk About: Young Adult Leadership in Addressing Intersectionality to Advance Prevention,” explored the importance of prevention strategies prioritizing the intersecting identities and lived experiences of youth and young adults.
How to Promote Safe Driving During 4th of July Celebrations
The 4th of July is a time of fireworks and celebrations—but it’s also one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to drunk driving accidents. To promote safe driving during this celebration, NHTSA developed campaigns and products including playbook guides, animated and static images, animated banner ads, earned media, and sample social media messages.
1 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2021). Results from the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed tables. Table 6.24A (REVISED). Retrieved from: https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/reports/rpt35323/NSDUHDetailedTabs2020v25/NSDUHDetailedTabs2020v25/NSDUHDetTabsSect6pe2020.htm#tab6-24a
Now Available in Spanish: Popular Prevention Resources from SAMHSA
SAMHSA has released Spanish-language versions of its underage drinking prevention fact sheets and data visualizations. These resources help parents and youth who are Spanish speaking learn more about the risks and harms caused by underage drinking and why it’s important to prevent underage alcohol use by youth and young adults. Read the full article for links to these resources.
This Summer, Urge Parents to Talk With Graduates About Celebrating Safely
NIAAA’s new fact sheet “Parents—Talk With Your High School Grads About Celebrating Safely” is a key prevention resource for parents this summer. It emphasizes the important role they play in preventing underage drinking and provides information about the negative impact of alcohol on a teenager’s developing brain, the importance of setting rules about alcohol use, and why serving as a role model is important.
Communities Talk About Webinar Available for On-Demand Viewing
SAMHSA recently launched a new online learning series called “Communities Talk About…”. The inaugural webinar episode, “Communities Talk About: Young Adult Leadership in Addressing Intersectionality to Advance Prevention,” explored the importance of prevention strategies that prioritize the intersecting identities and lived experiences of youth and young adults.
SAMHSA’s Underage Drinking Prevention Education Initiatives launched a new online learning series, “Communities Talk About…” The first session, “Communities Talk About: Young Adult Leadership in Addressing Intersectionality to Advance Prevention,” featured experts from top youth-led organizations and explored the importance of developing prevention strategies within the context of the intersectional, lived experiences of youth/young adults. Intersectionality is a lens through which prevention professionals can gain a better understanding of how personal identities—such as gender, race, class, ability, and sexual orientation—intersect and create specific lived experiences for people and communities.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a major impact on mental and emotional health of children and youth. As Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy states in Protecting Youth Mental Health: The U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory, “The challenges today’s generation of young people face are unprecedented and uniquely hard to navigate. And the effect these challenges have had on their mental health is devastating.” Read the full article for more information and to see success stories from communities that have addressed mental health in their own work through the Communities Talk initiative.
Don’t miss SAMHSA’s Prevention Day 2022 on May 9! This virtual event will kick off National Prevention Week activities.
New Findings: Changes in Alcohol Use Among Girls and Young Women
Girls and young women, ages 12 to 20, are now drinking more alcohol than their male counterparts. SAMHSA has a new publication that shares the facts on this shift in behavior to help the prevention field envision strategies to curb harmful drinking behaviors among this group.
Colleges Get Involved in the “One Pill Can Kill” Initiative
In this month’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Prevention Profiles: Take Five podcast, learn about the importance of DEA’s “One Pill Can Kill” initiative and how colleges can get involved with Take Back Day.
New Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
CDC has released two reports, one with data on tobacco use among middle and high school students and another on children’s mental health.
It’s Time to Start Planning for SAMHSA’s National Prevention Week 2022!
SAMHSA’s National Prevention Week (NPW) is a national public education platform that brings communities and organizations together to educate the public about the importance of substance use prevention and positive mental health, while sharing information about effective prevention strategies. This year NPW will be May 8–14 and SAMHSA is already planning! Go to the NPW website to stay updated and check back often for new resources that can help you start planning your activities.
Tune in to Prevention Technology Transfer Centers (PTTC) Webinars
The SAMHSA-funded PTTC Networks provide technical assistance and learning resources you can use in your substance misuse prevention efforts. By visiting the PTTC Training and Events Calendar, you can easily find webinars and other events to help you keep up with the latest prevention information. Here are some upcoming events on underage drinking and substance misuse prevention:
Inspiration at Your Fingertips: Data and Success Stories from Your State
You can find the information you need to support your underage drinking prevention work by visiting the State Resources
page. There, you’ll find your state summary from the Report to Congress on the Prevention and Reduction of Underage Drinking with rates of past-month alcohol use and binge drinking broken down by age group. Information about your state’s expenditures for substance abuse prevention and treatment is also available, as well as details on current laws, enforcement, and programs. You also can see what prevention success looks like on the local level with Communities Talk Success Stories from your state listed on the page.
Apply for a Drug-Free Communities Grant Next Month!
Host a Communities Talk Event in 2022 With the Power of Partnerships and Sponsors
While SAMHSA’s Communities Talk
stipend cycle has ended, the work of prevention has not! SAMHSA encourages communities to continue to build momentum behind the substance misuse prevention movement by hosting an event or activity this year. Now is also a great time to establish and fortify strategic partnerships
if you’re planning to do something big in 2023.
Even if you already have an extensive partner network, think about ways to expand or strengthen it. Partners are vital to maximizing your reach, promoting your message, and supporting your prevention effort—including providing financial support with in-kind contributions
. Watch the Communities Talk
webinar Leveraging Partnerships in Planning/Hosting a Communities Talk Even
t to learn how to cultivate and maintain mutually beneficial partner relationships to achieve lasting impact.
New! Featured Success Stories
Success Stories for events and activities held in 2021 are now posted, and new this year are featured Success Stories
that go a little deeper into the what, why, and how communities and organizations nationwide have recruited, educated, and mobilized their constituents to prevent underage drinking. Take a look and prepare to be inspired!
Keep the Holidays Bright by Staying Safe Behind the Wheel
December is observed as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month because it can be the deadliest when it comes to drunk driving. As part of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has created resources designed to be used during the holidays to educate your community members about the risks of substance use and prevent tragedies. The holiday campaign runs from December 15, 2021, through January 1, 2022.
The Essential Link to Prevention: Parent/Caregiver and Child Communication
When parents and caregivers communicate with their children about the harmful effects and negative consequences of alcohol and other substances, they can make a real difference. The holidays, especially New Year’s Eve, are a critical time for community-based prevention practitioners to encourage and enable parents and caregivers to talk with their children about the dangers of alcohol and other substance use. However, adults may need some help to know how to discuss these sensitive topics with their children.
NEW! Featured Success Stories
How do Communities Talk hosts put their events and activities together—and what do they achieve? Three new success stories describe Communities Talk activities in Maryland, rural Montana, and on a college campus in Florida. Lean what they were up against and how they worked within their communities to get a conversation going about preventing underage drinking.
Evaluating Communities Talk Activities
If you have held a Communities Talk activity or event this year, it’s time to review and evaluate its impact; this is the best way to plan strategically for future activities and put you in the best possible position to respond to the underage drinking and substance misuse prevention needs of your community. Here are some tips and tools to help you evaluate your event.
NEW! “Talk. They Hear You.” Campaign Posters
SAMHSA’s “Talk. They Hear You.” substance use prevention campaign has released three new posters. These posters encourage parents and educators concerned about their child’s or student’s health and wellbeing to work with student assistance professionals. The vibrant posters are available in three sizes (11x17, 18x24, 24x36) and designed to grab attention and inspire action.
National Teen Driver Safety Week Is October 17–23, 2021
During National Teen Driver Safety Week this October, encourage parents to have conversations with their teens about important rules for staying safe behind the wheel. Use the NHTSA’s Rules for the Road campaign materials to inspire parents to discuss the importance of driving safety with their young drivers. Read how other communities incorporated teen driving safety into their Communities Talk activity.
Red Ribbon Week Is October 23–31, 2021
The DEA’s Red Ribbon Week, America’s oldest and largest drug prevention awareness program, takes place this year October 23–31. Celebrate Red Ribbon Week in your community by raising awareness about the value of living a drug-free
SAVE THE DATE: The annual Red Ribbon Week Campus Video PSA Contest starts September 13!
As part of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Red Ribbon Week campaign
, the DEA and SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention are co-sponsoring the annual Campus Video PSA Contest for colleges and universities. Join SAMHSA, the DEA’s Campus Drug Prevention initiative, and the larger prevention community for a Twitter chat to learn more.
SAMHSA Expands its Talk. They Hear You. PSA Series
SAMHSA expands its Talk. They Hear You
. substance use prevention campaign resources with the release of 15 new print PSAs
. Tips include topics to discuss with teens and young adults before dropping them off at a party or before they get behind the wheel, and how to keep the dialogue about substances going as they get older.
NEW! Turning Data Into Action: A User’s Guide to the Report to Congress on the Prevention and Reduction of Underage Drinking
The Turning Data Into Action
guide provides a digestible overview of the Report to Congress, State Performance and Best Practices report and state-specific reports. You’ll find tips for using the reports specifically for communities, coalitions, parents, local government agencies and law enforcement.
Download the new “Talk. They Hear You.” mobile app.
Help parents and caregivers prepare for one of the most important conversations they may have with their kids by using SAMHSA’s new “Talk. They Hear You.” campaign mobile app. Watch a quick video to learn more about the app and see how it works.
Do you know how your state prevents underage drinking? Learn the laws with SAMHSA’s new series.
This new series in the SAMHSA Store summarizes the 24 legal policies that allow you to track how your state regulates underage drinking compared to other states. Using these summaries will help inform your prevention work.
Back to campus!
In the coming weeks, many students will be physically returning to college and university campuses and engaging in the social activities they have been missing during the pandemic. Luckily SAMHSA has many resources you can use with students, parents, and the campus community to aid your on-campus prevention efforts.
When you invest in holding a Communities Talk activity or event, you—and your partners or participants—will want to walk away knowing the effort made an impact. A good starting place for evaluation is to determine what success looks like to you and your community (ideally before the activity takes place).
Connect the Dots with a Communities Talk Planning Stipend
If a lack of resources is one of the things getting in the way of you connecting to your community about underage drinking prevention, a $750 planning stipend is your solution! But register now because stipends are going fast.
Need Something to Talk About?
As you plan your Communities Talk activity, don’t forget that it can be combined with another community activity or event, as long as underage drinking prevention is a key, related topic. For example, underage drinking prevention could be discussed along with mental/behavioral health, marijuana use, e-cigarette use or vaping, opioid misuse, or other health problems.
Four NEW SAMHSA Publications to Prevent Underage Drinking
SAMHSA has new publications for you to use with youth, parents, and other stakeholders in your community.
Talking With Teens About Impaired Driving
Now that more teens are going back to school and back to socializing with friends, it’s a good time to encourage parents and caregivers to talk with their teens about safe driving. The “Talk. They Hear You.” underage drinking prevention campaign has resources to help.
Communities Talk Planning Stipends are Going Fast!
Make sure to register soon so that you can receive a planning stipend for your Communities Talk activity. Here’s a quick and easy way to request an invitation to register.
Prevention Technology Transfer Centers (PTTC) Webinars
The SAMHSA-funded PTTC Networks provide technical assistance and learning resources you can use in your substance misuse prevention efforts. Read more to learn about upcoming events on underage drinking and alcohol misuse prevention.
NEW! Tips and Tools for Hosting a Virtual Activity
Prevention happens even in a socially distant world! These tips and tools offer creative and innovative ways to host a Communities Talk activity to bring people together.
NEW! After High School: Talking With Your Young Adult About Underage Drinking
Young adults still listen to their parents when it comes to decisions about avoiding alcohol. This new fact sheet has the information parents need to start the conversation about the consequences of underage drinking and alcohol use.
National Prevention Week 2021: Prevention Happens Anywhere and Everywhere
Substance misuse prevention happens in many places, spaces, and communities. SAMHSA’s National Prevention Week (NPW), set for May 9 through 15, is an annual health observance dedicated to increasing public awareness of and action around mental and/or substance use disorders. Find ideas, tools, and other resources for participating on the NPW website.
Don’t Be Left Out! Register Now to Receive Your Planning Stipend
More than 500 organizations have already applied for a $750 Communities Talk planning stipend. If you didn’t receive an invitation to register yet, email email@example.com to request one. Remember, planning stipends are only available on a first-come, first-served basis and they are going fast.
NEW! College Drinking: Prevention Perspectives Discussion Guides for Campus Communities
We are excited to introduce two new discussion guides to use with the College Drinking: Prevention Perspectives video series! The new discussion guides provide an overview of key themes and strategies in each episode, as well as conversation starters to spark discussions within your college community about alcohol.
Have You Started Planning Your 2021 Communities Talk to Prevent Underage Drinking Activity?
If you haven’t, don’t worry! SAMHSA has plenty of resources to help you plan your 2021 Communities Talk activity. If you’re planning a Communities Talk activity for parents, there are new resources from SAMHSA’s Talk. They Hear You. campaign. Read the complete article to learn more.
Discover Innovative Ideas for Virtual Communities Talk Activities
The Find an Activity Map has details about innovative ways communities and institutions of higher education used their planning stipends to mobilize their community and prevent underage drinking. The map will even show you some of the creative prevention activities happening near you!
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, communities were finding innovative ways to share prevention messages! Here are some creative ideas you can incorporate into your 2021 Communities Talk plans.
SAMHSA Prevention Resources at Your Fingertips
When planning your Communities Talk activity, remember that SAMHSA has prevention and planning resources for you to use.
It's Time! Register Now for a 2021 Communities Talk Planning Stipend of $750
Registration for the 2021 Communities Talk activity cycle is now open, and $750 planning stipends are available on a first-come, first-served basis! If you didn’t receive an invitation to register yet, email firstname.lastname@example.org to request one.
Once your registration information is verified (including a valid copy of your organization’s W-9 form), you should receive your $750 planning stipend within 21 days. Please cash your check within 30 days, even if your activity won’t take place until later in the year. Read the Communities Talk Quick Start Planning Guide for more information about registration and planning an activity.
Fresh for 2021: New and Updated Communities Talk Resources
We know prevention has changed in 2021, and a top priority for this year is providing new and updated resources to support prevention activities. These tips and resources will help you promote and implement your Communities Talk activity.
SAMHSA’s 17th Annual Prevention Day is Monday February 1, 2021
Attend SAMHSA’s 17th Annual—and virtual—Prevention Day and expand your knowledge of evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies. Prevention Day is free, so register today.
Reduce Underage Drinking Where You Live with Communities Talk
Beginning in January 2021, $750 planning stipends will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Keep an eye on your email inbox in January for an invitation to apply for a 2021 Communities Talk planning stipend. You can also email email@example.com to request an invitation.
Communities Talk Quick Start Planning Guide – Updated for 2021!
Get a head start on your 2021 activity with the newly updated Quick Start Planning Guide. The guide provides a checklist and calendar to support your planning efforts. It also includes helpful information to complete your Communities Talk profile and registration.
Prevention Activities in a Socially Distanced World
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, connecting to your community with prevention messages has been increasingly challenging. But there are many ways to keep prevention alive and community engagement strong that don't require in-person interactions. Read more for some ideas to push prevention forward virtually.
Virtually Attend SAMHSA’s 17th Annual Prevention Day!
SAMHSA’s 17th Annual Prevention Day will convene on Monday, February 1, 2021, in conjunction with CADCA’s Virtual Forum. This exciting, one-day virtual event will give you the latest on SAMHSA’s prevention priorities for 2021. Registration is free to the public!
Celebrating the Holidays Safely
This year, families and friends will face new and unique challenges as they try to celebrate the holiday season while still following CDC COVID-19 guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. This is an especially important topic for underage youth, as data show that they are involved in alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes despite being too young to legally purchase or possess alcohol. Read more to learn about resources to help prevent underage drinking and driving.
It's back! The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), together with the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking (ICCPUD) and other national partners, will sponsor the eighth round of Communities Talk to Prevent Underage Drinking. The cycle will launch in January 2021 and $750 stipends will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Using Data to Inform and Mobilize Your Community
Community leaders, parents, and other concerned citizens can be motivated to prevent underage drinking when they learn how many adolescents and young adults begin using alcohol each year. Inspire more people to actively support prevention in your community by using data from SAMHSA’s 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).
Even in a world that is social distancing, youth can and should play an important role in Communities Talk activity planning. For inspiration on how to get youth involved in your next Communities Talk, check out the story video. This short video highlights ways communities can work with youth to help reduce the prevalence of underage drinking.
NEW! Prevention Graphics Gallery
SAMHSA has developed three new data visualizations designed to facilitate conversations between children and parents or other caring adults, and support community efforts to prevent underage drinking. The visualizations bring key findings from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health to life by creating a narration that helps outlines how communities get informed, stay prepared and take action.
SAMHSA’s COVID-19 page has resources and information to assist you in your prevention efforts during this complex time. There you’ll find SAMHSA’s Training and Technical Assistance Related to COVID-19, which is updated weekly, as well as other helpful materials. Read more for descriptions of helpful materials.
Success Stories—Prevention Work Continues Despite Impacts from COVID-19 Pandemic
As you are rethinking prevention strategies to adapt to challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, learn how some of your colleagues have succeeded in refining their Communities Talk events.
Managing Youth Stress and Substance Misuse During COVID-19 Pandemic
Recent research shows that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing increased levels of stress and substance misuse. Read more about recent findings as well as resources you can use to aid youth and caring adults in your community.
Following social distancing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health officials can make prevention work challenging. One way to reach your audience with prevention messages is by hosting a virtual Communities Talk event using free video conference platforms and using different virtual techniques. To help you plan, we’ve included some ideas for you!
SAMHSA Email Newsletters to Support Your Prevention Initiatives
This is the final edition of the Communities Talk email newsletter, so be sure to bookmark our website and check back often for the latest information about Communities Talk events and resources for underage drinking prevention. Read the full e-Alert article to learn how to get the latest SAMHSA news and resources about substance use prevention delivered via email.
SAMHSA's StopAlcoholAbuse.gov and Communities Talk Website Resources
The StopAlcoholAbuse.gov and Communities Talk websites offers valuable resources to help strengthen your prevention efforts, including the state map that links to individual state profiles in the Report to Congress on the Prevention and Reduction of Underage Drinking. Read the full e-Alert article to learn about what you can find on these websites.
Other SAMHSA Email Newsletters to Support Your Prevention Initiatives
The Communities Talk email newsletter will soon be discontinued, so be sure to bookmark our website and check back often for the latest information about Communities Talk events and resources for underage drinking prevention. Read the full article for links to sign up for other prevention-related email newsletters.
SAMHSA's Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation During an Infectious Disease Outbreak
SAMHSA understands how social distancing and quarantine may come with challenges for substance misuse prevention and serious concerns for individuals, families, and communities. SAMHSA's Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation During an Infectious Disease Outbreak shares information on how to cope with the thoughts and emotions many people are experiencing.
Communities Talk Success Stories, Share Your Success!
The latest Communities Talk Success Stories are now available to help you learn about all the creative and inspiring events your colleagues hosted to mobilize their communities in support of underage drinking and substance misuse prevention. You might find inspiration or ideas for an event of your own - and don't forget to share your own Success Story!
A Free Educational Resource for Virtual Learning: Alcohol's Effects on the Brain (AlcoholFX)
Given the many COVID-19-related school closures, educators, parents, and caregivers are looking for innovative ways to help students learn as much as they can online at home. AlcoholFX is a fun, interactive, science-based app for children ages 10 to 12 to learn about alcohol's impact on the brain.
Establishing Partners to Support Your Communities Talk Event in 2020
Keep the momentum you gained from your 2019 Communities Talk event going by hosting an event in 2020! Partnering with a local business or other community groups is a great way to enhance your underage drinking prevention efforts during non-stipend years. The Communities Talk website has some great information to help you develop partnerships that support your prevention efforts.
Substance Misuse Prevention for Young Adults
SAMHSA’s guide, Substance Misuse Prevention for Young Adults, supports health care providers, health systems, and communities seeking to prevent substance misuse among young adults. It describes relevant research findings, examines emerging and best practices, identifies knowledge gaps and implementation challenges, and offers useful resources.
Underage Drinking Prevention Materials Now Available in Spanish
Several new Spanish-language underage drinking prevention resources are now available. Originally available in English, the resources are adapted to connect with Spanish-speaking audiences to help community-based organizations and prevention strategists address issues around underage drinking in those communities.
Talking to Your College Student about Alcohol During the Holidays
Students are returning home after their first semester in college, and it’s a great time for parents and caregivers to talk with them about alcohol or reinforce conversations they may have had at the beginning of the semester. Check out SAMHSA’s resources for parents to guide your own conversations.
Celebrating the Holidays Safely
Help prevent drinking and driving this holiday season with campaign resources from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). These campaigns provide animated graphics, fact sheets, sample news releases and op-eds, and Spanish-language materials.
New SAMHSA resource focuses on embracing culture and context for prevention strategies
Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) educate students in a culturally specific context, which calls for a tailored approach to underage drinking prevention. The second episode in SAMHSA’s College Drinking: Prevention Perspectives series, Embracing Culture and Context to Prevent Underage Drinking, shows how HBCUs have created prevention strategies that meet the unique needs of a campus community with a strong history and culture.
Prevention Technology Transfer Centers (PTTC) Resources
The SAMHSA-funded PTTC Network provides technical assistance and learning resources for you to use in your substance misuse prevention efforts. Learn more about resources on the topic of underage drinking and alcohol misuse prevention.
SAMHSA Addresses Mental Illness and Substance Use in Young Adults
SAMHSA’s new public message on Mental Illness and Substance Use in Young Adults offers resources to support those concerned about someone who may be drinking too much, using drugs, or dealing with mental illness get the help they need.
Preventing Underage Drinking and Marijuana Use
Communities Talk events primarily focus on underage drinking prevention. But the events also are a great
opportunity to discuss other substance misuse and prevention-related topics that are important to your community,
including marijuana use. Addressing the dangers associated with underage and young adult marijuana and alcohol use can increase the impact of your event and energize your community’s prevention work. SAMHSA’s Know the Risks of Marijuana webpage and SAMHSA’s “Talk. They Hear You.”
have facts and materials for you to use when planning or hosting your Communities Talk event.
Back-to-School Season: An Opportunity to Help Parents and Caregivers Prevent Underage Drinking and Drug
A new school year often brings a fresh start for children and their families. It’s also a time to revisit
conversations with children about alcohol and other drugs. Resources from SAMHSA’s “Talk. They Hear You.” national
media campaign helps parents, caregivers, and other role models have conversations about alcohol and other drugs with
children. Read SAMSHA’s blog
by Johnnetta Davis-Joyce, M.A., Director of SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, for details about using
the campaign in your prevention initiatives this school year.
Using Data to Mobilize Your Community
Community leaders, parents, and other concerned citizens become more invested in prevention when they learn how many adolescents and young adults begin using alcohol each year. You can use data from SAMHSA’s 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health to educate your community about underage drinking and get them engaged in prevention strategies.
SAMHSA’s AlcoholFX App Helps Educators Highlight Alcohol’s Effects on the Brain
As an educator, you do important work every day to help youth in your community build healthier, brighter futures. Helping kids understand the consequences of using alcohol, and how alcohol can harm their brains, is key to ensuring they achieve their goals. Download SAMHSA’s AlcoholFX app for tablets at no cost to help share these messages.
Enhance Your Communities Talk Profile
Thank you to everyone who added event flyers to their Communities Talk profile! Your flyers, event photos, and media coverage bring your events to life on the Find a Meeting map and offers other Communities Talk hosts ideas for their own activities. If you have not had a chance to share your flyers, photos, etc. for your event, please add them to your profile.
New Communities Talk Toolkit
Check out the new Communities Talk Event Host Toolkit. This all-inclusive guide has detailed information for first-time hosts and for those who want to expand the impact of their events. Be sure to read the social media section to find updated sample content for your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. The toolkit also includes updates on ways you can engage the media with your event.
Strategic Planning for Year-Round Underage Drinking Prevention
When developing your substance misuse prevention strategic plan, remember to include Communities Talk as part of your underage drinking prevention efforts. Effective prevention efforts begin with a strong strategic plan—a process for setting goals and objectives, and for determining how to achieve them and how to measure impact. SAMHSA has resources that will help you as you plan programs and evaluate results.
Inside, Outside, Small, Virtual—Whatever Format Works in Your Community Works for Communities Talk!
Not all Communities Talk events need be large or follow a traditional meeting approach. Every community is unique, with different populations and different concerns about the causes and effects of underage drinking. A variety of venues and formats can be used to host an event, including hosting a virtual meeting using social media. Read on to learn how.
Using Your Planning Stipend
SAMHSA requires Communities Talk stipends be used to cover the costs of planning and hosting an event. The stipends can be used to cover the costs of printing promotional materials or for facilities rental, and there also are other creative ways to use the funds.
Join us for a webinar on June 25 from 2–3 p.m. EDT to hear from an all-youth panel about how to engage youth and young adults in underage drinking prevention strategies.
Using Social Media to Promote Your Communities Talk Event
The Communities Talk Social Media Guide provides tips for using social media, from selecting platforms to guidelines for writing and posting content. SAMHSA also provides sample content to promote your event.
#CommunitiesTalk Twitter Chat
The National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) co-hosted a Twitter chat with Communities Talk about preventing and reducing college student drinking. The chat discussed groups that are most at-risk for binge drinking among college students, activities and programs that have worked on college campuses, and resources used for planning underage drinking prevention programs on campus.
Upcoming Webinar: “Leading the Way: Maximizing the Power of Youth and Young Adult Leadership in Communities Talk” on June 25 at 2:00 p.m. EDT
Register now for SAMHSA’s Communities Talk webinar featuring insights from youth presenters on increasing youth engagement in your underage drinking prevention efforts.
Join colleges, universities, students, staff, and the larger prevention community for a Twitter chat to learn more about underage drinking prevention strategies on campus.
Is your organization hosting a Communities Talk event this year? Register now to receive a planning stipend!
Be sure to keep in mind that you do not need to set a firm date or select a venue to register. If your Communities Talk
event will take place by December 31, 2019, you can receive a planning stipend.
Spread the word!
Your colleagues from other community organizations or institutions of higher education can request information about hosting a Communities Talk
event and may qualify for a planning stipend. Encourage them to contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Participate in the National Prevention Week Prevention Challenge today!
SAMHSA is inviting you to participate in the NPW 2019 Prevention Challenge
! This is a great activity to integrate into your Communities Talk
event - set up a backdrop for photos or a "selfie station" and ask participants to take photos and videos of their underage drinking Prevention Champions at the event. Remember to use the hashtags #PreventionChampion and #NPW2019.
Leveraging Alcohol Awareness Month and National Prevention Week
April is Alcohol Awareness Month,
which is the perfect opportunity for your community to focus on underage and harmful drinking prevention. Plus, learn how Communities Talk
events have contributed to national progress in reducing underage drinking rates in SAMHSA’s recent blog post
from Luiz Vasquez, LICSW, Acting Director, SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.
Join communities across the nation in celebrating SAMHSA’s National Prevention Week
(NPW) May 12–18, 2019. Tuesday, May 14, focuses on the prevention of underage drinking and alcohol misuse.
Tell us about your event and be a 2019 Success Story!
Following your event, you will receive an e-mail survey. Please complete the survey to share the positive impact the Communities Talk
initiative has had on preventing and decreasing underage drinking in your community. What you share about the results of your event could be highlighted on the Communities Talk Success Stories
Watch the archived webinar here.
On March 20, 2019, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) hosted a webinar with experts from around the country to discuss best practices for engaging partners in planning, hosting, and promoting a successful Communities Talk event. SAMHSA encourages audiences to view and share this video with their communities or any organizations they know that would be interested in hosting a Communities Talk event.
More about planning stipends
Completing your registration to host a SAMHSA-sponsored Communities Talk event ensures that you will receive your $750 planning stipend within 21 days. Watch the new step-by-step video tutorial (look for the video in the orange Event Host Log In box on the homepage) about how to register your event.
Promoting your Communities Talk event
Now that you’ve planned your event, you need a strategy to spread the word. The Communities Talk website has the tips and resources you need to promote your event.
First, create a promotion plan and learn the best ways to implement it.
The 2019 Communities Talk stipend cycle is now open! This year, the $750 planning stipends will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. If you didn't receive an invitation to participate in this year's stipend cycle, e-mail email@example.com to request your stipend invitation. Be sure to include your organization's name and website to speed up the verification process.
As you begin planning, remember to check out the resources that are available on the Communities Talk website in the following list.
Read the latest SAMHSA blog post from Luis Vasquez, LICSW, Acting Director for SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, to learn about the 2019 Communities Talk Meetings to Prevent Underage Drinking initiative that will launch in late January.
This year, SAMHSA will sponsor the seventh round of Communities Talk Meetings to Prevent Underage Drinking. Beginning in late January 2019, a limited number of $750 planning stipends will be available to help cover the costs of planning and holding a Communities Talk event.
If you’re attending the NASPA Alcohol, Other Drug, and Campus Violence Prevention Conference, you can attend the Communities Talk workshop, “Engaging Campuses and Communities as Partners to Address Underage Drinking: A strategic Framework” from 2:35 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. on Friday, January 18.