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Getting Started

Nearly 15 million American youth aged 12-20 drink alcohol, illegally and dangerously and 4 million use illicit drugs.

The economic impact of substance misuse is estimated to be $249 billion for alcohol misuse and $193 billion for illicit drug use.

Hold an activity to:

  • Educate your community about alcohol and other drug misuse, and
  • Learn how to mobilize to take action.
Getting Started

Getting Started on Your Communities Talk Activity

Communities Talk to Prevent Alcohol and Other Drug Misuse is an initiative sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Each year, community-based organizations--including our national collaborating organizations, community and youth-led coalitions, colleges, and universities nationwide--hold activities to mobilize their communities to prevent alcohol and other drug misuse. Since 2006, more than 11,000 SAMHSA-supported activities have been held across the country.

SAMHSA distributes planning stipends to help local community leaders increase the impact of their activities.

Read our Planning Guide

The Quick Start Planning Guide includes everything community-based organizations need to know to quickly and easily begin organizing a results-oriented substance use and misuse prevention activity. The guide includes detailed steps to help organizers plan and promote their activities, share their successes, and use their planning stipends.

Explore Additional Resources

  • SAMHSA's Talk. They Hear You. campaign and The Sound of Your Voice video and guide for parents of graduating high school seniors.
  • The Tips and Resources webpage has more details on planning, promoting, and gauging the impact of an activity.
  • The State Resources webpage has the latest data on substance use and misuse prevention, success stories from your state, and underage drinking prevention videos.
  • The What's New webpage has the latest news and information on substance use and misuse prevention resources and strategies.