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What’s New

Communities Talk What’s New articles share information to help event organizers plan, host, and evaluate events aimed at mobilizing a community around evidence-based prevention of underage drinking.

Communities Talk Success Stories; Managing Youth Stress and Substance Use During COVID-19

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.

Date: 07/27/2020

Preventing and Reducing Underage Drinking—Virtually!

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!

Date: 06/01/2020

Sign Up for SAMHSA Prevention Emails; Underage Drinking Website Resources

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.

Date: 05/04/2020

SAMHSA Information on Social Distancing and Online Resources for Underage Drinking Prevention

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.

Date: 04/16/2020

Establishing Partners for Your Work and Resources for Young Adults

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.

Date: 03/04/2020

New Spanish-language resources and underage drinking prevention during the holidays

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.

Date: 12/17/2019

New SAMHSA resources for college drinking prevention, substance misuse prevention, and mental health

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.

Date: 11/14/2019

Prevention Resources for Underage Drinking and Marijuana Use; New Data About Alcohol Use

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.” campaign website 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 Use

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.

Date: 10/09/2019

AlcoholFX: An Engaging App for Middle Schoolers. Plus, the Benefits of Images in Your Communities Talk Profile

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.

Date: 09/19/2019

Introducing the Communities Talk Toolkit! Plus, Tips for Year-Round Event Planning.

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.

Date: 08/07/2019

Whatever Venue or Format Works in Your Community Works for Communities Talk! Plus, Tips for Using Your Planning Stipend.

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.

Date: 07/10/2019

Register Today for New SAMHSA Webinar on June 25! Leading the Way: Maximizing the Power of Youth and Young Adult Leadership in Communities Talk

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.

Date: 06/20/2019

Social Media to Promote your Event, #CommunitiesTalk Twitter Chat, and Upcoming Webinar: Maximizing the Power of Youth and Young Adult Leadership

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.

Date: 06/05/2019

Join the #CommunitiesTalk Twitter Chat on June 4 at Noon EDT

Join colleges, universities, students, staff, and the larger prevention community for a Twitter chat to learn more about underage drinking prevention strategies on campus.

Date: 05/31/2019

Spread the word about Communities Talk and get involved in the National Prevention Week #PreventionChampion challenge

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 info@stopalcoholabuse.net.

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.

Date: 05/08/2019

Leveraging Alcohol Awareness Month and National Prevention Week

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 page.

Date: 04/11/2019

Webinar Archive: Leveraging Partnerships in Planning/Hosting a Communities Talk Event

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.

Date: 04/05/2019

Planning Stipends and Promoting Your 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.

Date: 03/05/2019

Ready, Set, Go—2019 Communities Talk Meetings Have Begun!

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 info@stopalcoholabuse.net 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.

Date: 02/06/2019

SAMHSA Blog Update: 2019 Communities Talk Meetings to Prevent Underage Drinking

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.

Date: 01/24/2019

2019 Communities Talk Planning Stipends and January NASPA Conference

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.

Date: 01/11/2019