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Success Stories

Success stories demonstrate the many creative ways that event hosts are engaging their communities in underage drinking prevention and the outcomes they are achieving.

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Communities Talk Events: 2019 Highlights

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0% of the participants learned ways to prevent underage drinking.
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0% of Communities Talk events focused on parents’ important role in underage drinking prevention.
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Sober Tailgate

To show students that it’s possible to have a good time at a football tailgate without drinking alcohol, Youngstown Campus Recreation hosted their own sober tailgate. It attracted students from many backgrounds and gave them the opportunity to enjoy themselves in a social setting without the pressure of having to respond to alcohol use around them.

Youngstown, OH

Los Angeles County of Education Presentation on Underage Substance Abuse

The Young Oak Kim Academy and the LA County Office of Education (LACOE) held a town hall meeting for parents and teachers—as well as assemblies for students during physical education classes—to educate them about the dangers of drug and alcohol use during the preteen and teen years. LACOE used an open forum with students to address the perception that drinking and driving is not a big deal and to share information that can help students stay safe.

Los Angeles, CA

Alcohol & College: A Town Hall Event

The UAB Wellness Promotion held a town hall meeting on alcohol and alcohol prevention in college. They were able to shed light on their issues surrounding drinking and driving and binge drinking rates among students, which allowed their Student Government Association to get more involved and spark a larger conversation. 

Birmingham, AL

How to Create Resilient Lives and Neighborhoods

The Rockville Centre Coalition for Youth noticed a significantly higher level of underage drinking and substance use in their community than the national average. To address these increasing numbers, they sprang into action by collaborating with schools, law enforcement, and local businesses to educate their community on underage drinking prevention. 

Garden City, NY

Open Forum on Campus

In their efforts to eliminate and reduce underage and binge drinking at Florida State University (FSU), the Health and Wellness Center hosted an open forum on campus to discuss prevention efforts with community members. Students who attended the event better understood the importance of saying “no” to underage and binge drinking and the dangers associated with it. FSU is encouraged to see that by educating more students, particularly freshmen, they can work to change social norms about underage and binge drinking on campus.

Tallahassee, FL

Alcohol and Drug Awareness Program

Sam Houston State University lost several students to alcohol-related incidents in the early 2000s, so the school has made efforts since then to raise awareness about substance misuse and prevent future tragedies from occurring. To educate students and community members in an engaging and interactive way, Sam Houston State University partnered with Texas A&M’s AgriLife Extension Service to host a panel discussion about the dangers of underage drinking.

Huntsville, TX

Yakima Community Coalition Kick Off Meeting

This event encouraged us to change from a traditional top-down prevention model to a bottom-up one. We found that our prevention strategies worked best when we focused on listening to our community members’ concerns rather than focusing on the goal of our agency.

Yakima, WA

Coalicion de Esperanza Town Hall Meeting on Youth Substance Use

Through partnering with their local school system’s PTA, Hope for Miami hosted an informative event for parents and students in their rural community. The event taught students about the consequences they could face if they drank alcohol while underage, and their parents learned the importance of adhering to social hosting laws. 

Miami , FL

Adverse Childhood Experiences, Trauma, and the Relationship to Substance Misuse

Mprint Community Wellness worked diligently to engage community leaders and business owners to make strides toward change in their local policies. They also held workshops to better educate their community members on alcohol and substance misuse.

St. Louis, MO


Crusada Consortia held an underage drinking prevention training for 31 universities around Puerto Rico. They discussed and shared information related to alcohol use disorder (AUD), underage drinking, and prevention tactics.

Mayaguez, PR

Communities Talk: Town Hall to Stop Underage Drinking

Due to the prevalence of youth marijuana use in Detroit, the Coalition for Urban Youth and Family Development realized the need for preventive action for not only substance use, but underage drinking in their community. Their Communities Talk event focused on empowering youth with the information they need to make smart choices for their future and avoid underage drinking.

Detroit, MI

Town Hall Meeting: Underage & Binge Drinking

The Communities Talk event held by Learn to Grow, Inc. tackled underage substance use in urban Atlanta communities. The meeting addressed underage drinking, marijuana, and electronic vaping products with an open panel discussion. Guest speakers also discussed communicating with youth and ways to get involved in substance use/misuse prevention efforts and address accessibility to substances.

Atlanta, GA

It Takes a Village

Taking advantage of where students learn, play, and pray, this Kennebec County, Maine, coalition brought together representatives of social service groups to create a holistic approach to help prevent underage drinking.

Gardiner, ME

Georgia Teen Institute Town Hall Meeting

For over 30 years, Gwinnett United in Drug Education, Inc. (GUIDE, Inc.), addressed substance use prevention in Georgia. This year, GUIDE invited youth and parents from 27 counties around Georgia to the Georgia Teen Institute. More than 300 participants had the opportunity to engage in underage drinking prevention activities and learn how to conduct similar events in their communities.

Oxford, GA

Communities Talk: Hudson County Town Hall Meeting for the Prevention of Underage Drinking

In Bayonne, New Jersey, a Communities Talk event conducted outreach activities to youth, parents, and caregivers to change attitudes that normalize underage drinking. Attendees heard from law enforcement, members of the recovery community, and a school assistance coordinator on a panel presentation. The event included interactive components as well. 

Bayonne, NJ

Parent & Family Resource Night

To raise awareness of the need for underage drinking prevention efforts in Manatee County, Florida, Drug Free Manatee partnered with Lee Middle School to host a resource night for community members. The coalition brought together previously fragmented prevention efforts in the county while educating parents and students about the importance of preventing underage drinking.

Bradenton, FL

The Hang Out at Rowe

The Clackamas Youth Empowerment Coalition held an afterschool prevention program for the students in the North Clackamas school district. Their event addressed access to alcohol and alcohol advertising and promotion.

Milwaukie, OR

Summer Fest

Using music, conversation, and take-away materials, a mobilized coalition focused on creating a fun, sober event. Upon a review of local youth survey data, local prevention and recovery groups held a concert and used it as a backdrop to talk with parents about the perils of tolerating underage alcohol use, and to chat with youth on the dangers of alcohol and other illegal substances.

Fairfield, CT

Safety Day

In Oregon, Wisconsin, OregonCARES hosted a Communities Talk event (“Safety” Day) with local law enforcement to change attitudes about underage drinking and educate adults about social host laws. This meeting provided an opportunity to not only educate youth, parents, and other caregivers about access to alcohol and how to reduce underage alcohol use, but also brought together stakeholders, such as business owners and government leaders, to be part of the team to address underage drinking.

Oregon, WI

14th Annual Iowa Governor's Conference on LGBTQ Youth

Since LGBTQ youth are more likely to engage in underage drinking as marginalized members of communities, Iowa Safe Schools hosted a conference to address the lack of support and resources in Iowa schools for this population. This event gave students and parents the opportunity to connect with school administrators and educators and discuss how to meet the needs of LGBTQ youth regarding underage drinking and substance misuse prevention.

Des Moines, IA

Communities Talk Town Hall Meeting on Underage Drinking

South Side High School PTA developed posters, digital graphics, and a public service announcement for their first Communities Talk event. This event was their first step toward a long-term plan to raise awareness about underage drinking in their community. 

Rockville Centre, NY

Conversation to Prevent Underage Drinking and Substance Abuse

The Jefferson County Drug Free Coalition, in collaboration with their Parks and Recreational Department, held a Communities Talk event to discuss the effects of alcohol with their middle school students. 

Watertown, WI

Lanier High School Communities Talk Event

The Jackson State University Metro Jackson Community Prevention Coalition hosted an educational panel discussion about the dangers of alcohol at a local high school. They helped students understand and experience the consequences of driving while impaired with the help of local law enforcement and school administrators.

Jackson, MS

Community Town Hall Meeting

Singing River Services Region XIV held a panel discussion to continue the dialogue with community members on the nationally recognized alcohol use prevention programs they used to raise awareness on the issue in their region.

Moss Point, MS

Community Talk Town Hall Meeting

Healthy Dent County collaborated with other community service partners to host a Communities Talk event to raise awareness on the prevalence of underage drinking in the Dent County, Missouri, community. 

Salem, MO

West Springfield Town Hall Meeting to Discuss the Impact of Underage Substance Use

The West Springfield CARE Coalition held a panel discussion featuring local experts to discuss underage drinking prevention and to share tips and resources community members can use when they are faced with difficult situations.

West Springfield, MA

Social Hosting

In Clayton County, underage drinking is seen as a rite of passage. Although community members admit to it being a problem, underage drinking prevention is not a priority. To raise awareness of the importance of lowering youth alcohol consumption rates, Substance Abuse Services for Clayton County, Inc., partnered with an existing community potluck and invited people to have an open discussion about prevention efforts.

Elkader, IA

Community Partnerships to Help Communities Talk

Mohave Area Partnership Promoting Educated Decisions (MAPPED) partnered with various community stakeholders to organize their Communities Talk event. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, they had to reschedule, but they were able to shed light on the underage drinking and substance misuse issues in their community through electronic billboards and flyers.

Laughlin, NV

Virtual Town Hall for Parents

Underage drinking in Pima County is a common issue—and even more so in the Latino community. To raise awareness around this problem, Amistades Mayahuel Prevention Consortium hosted a Communities Talk event to discuss alcohol and its effects on mental health within the Latino community. 

Tucson, AZ

Making a Difference for Franklin County's Children

Franklin County Schools invited community leaders, stakeholders, and 200 students from six different high schools in the area to discuss the overall effects of alcohol and substance misuse.

Russellville, AL

Facebook Live Presentations

During a period in 2019, Mclaren Bay Region-Neighborhood Resource Center’s community faced 28 overdoses in 28 days. Since then, they have made prevention a priority. Their virtual Communities Talk events brought together sectors who were working on substance misuse and provided a clear way for people to discover that many organizations, individuals, and entities are working together to push prevention efforts forward.

Bay City, MI

York High School Prevention Event

By engaging members of their community, Maine’s York High School is getting more people invested in prevention. The school is helping youth, families, and adults come together as partners to prevent underage drinking and substance misuse.

York, ME

“I Choose Sober”

For years in Gogebic County, underage drinking has been a norm—youth consuming alcohol on fishing trips and other milestone activities is accepted and encouraged. To engage families and educate them about the importance of underage drinking prevention, Gogebic County Communities That Care held a Communities Talk event and encouraged students to join “I Choose Sober."

Bessemer, MI

Red Ribbon Week Kickoff

In Allen County Drug and Alcohol Consortium, Inc.’s community, alcohol is easily accessible for many youth—both at home and in the community. Given these challenges, their underage drinking prevention event focused on changing the attitude toward alcohol for the youth in their community through promoting knowledge of alcohol use risks and encouraging healthier choices. Their event doubled as a kick-off for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Red Ribbon Week observance in the community.  

Fort Wayne, IN


NCADD-GDA partnered with a national nonprofit organization to help host a “flip the script” program, which catered toward giving young men and women who have had criminal challenges a second chance in society. During the event, they had an open dialogue on how alcohol and substance misuse had affected them. 

Detroit, MI

Safe and Sober Event

Renville Alliance for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drugs held a live presentation to discuss the prevalence of underage drinking and high alcohol consumption in their community. 

Hector, MN

Gwinnett Coalition Town Hall Meeting

Due to concerns that underage drinking prevention efforts were not top of mind in their community, Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services hosted an event that showcased all the resources available to community members to take action in preventing underage drinking. Although attendance was lower than anticipated due to the start of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, the coalition’s event was a success and they hope to host more in the future.

Lawrenceville, GA

Town Hall Meeting

Shawnee Transformation Youth Coalition held an event to continue their efforts to bring together different community sectors in substance misuse prevention. The event also highlighted the importance of checking IDs to ensure underage youth are not given access to buying alcohol or tobacco products. 

Louisville, KY

Town Hall Meeting Emerging Trend and Underage Drinking

After 15 teens died in 15 months due to car crashes, the community formed Tazewell Teen Initiative in 2006 to reach youth and their parents about the importance of underage drinking prevention—especially in relation to its harmful consequences. In 2019, they hosted a town hall meeting with community partners that welcomed students, family, and community stakeholders and dispelled rumors about underage drinking and e-cigarette use.

Washington, IL

Boys and Girls Club of the Hi-Line Parent Information Night

In HELP Committee’s community in Montana, youth are exposed to social drinking at a young age through community events. Because of this reality, the coalition recognized the opportunity to host an event to educate parents about social host ordinances in relation to underage drinking prevention. They plan to continue to educate their community about measures they can take in order to make their community a healthier and safer place for youth to socialize.

Havre, MT

Town Hall Meeting

Wakefield youth have higher rates of alcohol use than the state of Massachusetts as a whole. The Town of Wakefield’s Wake-Up Coalition, in collaboration with community partners, hosted a discussion panel for more than 200 students, parents, and community members to discuss the realities of youth substance use, mental health, and addiction. 

Wakefield, MA

Breakfast with the County Board

Prevention Network of Washington County recognizes that underage drinking is not perceived as a health risk to youth in their community. To change perspectives on the issue and break down unhealthy rite of passage traditions, they hosted a roundtable discussion with Wisconsin lawmakers to enact evidence-based underage drinking prevention legislation in schools. 

Richfield, WI

Community Event

SSTAR Prevention’s community has seen high rates of drug overdose deaths and experiences youth reporting high rates of depression and anxiety at increasingly younger ages. To combat these issues, SSTAR Prevention hosted an event to form better relationships with local community leaders and members and spark conversation about issues related to substance use prevention, including mental health and wellness.

Fall River, MA


Boise State saw an increase in underage drinking, binge drinking, and substance misuse. To be proactive and maintain a safe and healthy campus community, the university hosted an event with partners to provide resources for students trying to avoid drinking.

Boise, ID

No es usted, hasta que le sucede a usted (It’s not about you until it happens to you)

A rural community in Tieton, Washington, was devasted by a tragic incident that lead to the death of a teen last year. In response to this fatality, a high school hosted a Spanish-language Communities Talk event during which law enforcement and prevention professionals shared underage drinking laws and data with parents. 

Tieton, WA

Town Hall to Prevent Underage Drinking

Ware Children’s Initiative is making great progress in its efforts to address underage drinking in its community and is bringing local leaders together to discuss prevention. The organization’s prevention efforts are helping to lower the average age of first-time alcohol use, keeping youth away from alcohol longer.

Waycross, GA

Save Family Dinner Night

It’s never easy to start a difficult conversation about underage drinking. The Utah State University Extension in Tooele, Utah, felt the need to help their rural community open up about the topic and encouraged community members to join them for a free movie night and a resource fair with information about underage drinking prevention.

Tooele, UT

Communities Talk Town Hall to Prevent Underage Drinking

The Counseling Center at Pace University’s New York City campus hosted a panel discussion to share information with students about the impact of substance use and misuse on not only themselves, but also individuals around them and the community. Speakers from different campus departments, including the Children’s Aid Society and a local hospital, addressed the health impacts of substance use and misuse (including alcohol and underage drinking), giving attendees a well-rounded picture of how substance use affects the entire university community. 

New York, NY

Hope for the Future

The Native American population in Anadarko, Oklahoma, has had to overcome many challenges—a major one being underage drinking. To support the youth in their community in making healthy decisions, Anadarko Indian Education collaborated with community partners to share underage drinking prevention education materials and engage youth in a panel discussion.

Anadarko, OK

Collegiate Empowerment Facilitator Training

Educating college students about alcohol and substance misuse is a tough mission. Collegiate Empowerment trains facilitators to deliver an alcohol education program to students across the country to help them make better decisions related to alcohol and substance use. They used their Communities Talk stipend to support their training efforts.

Easton, PA

Talk to Me

In Franklin County, the rate of current 30-day usage of alcohol by high school students is nearly 30 percent. To raise awareness of the importance of underage drinking prevention, Franklin County Prevention Coalition held an event that reached nearly 4,000 people with information about the dangers associated with underage drinking and what they can do to prevent it.

Winchester, TN


Several departments at Kutztown University worked together to develop a nontraditional approach to facilitating a discussion about underage drinking. The Department held a campus event where 60 artists created live art illustrating how alcohol has impacted their lives. 

Kutztown , PA

Teens S.I.P. (Speak, Inspire, Produce) for Healthier Communities

Safe & Sound, Inc., invited local health officials, teens, and parents to a panel discussion on the harmful effects of underage drinking and alcohol misuse. Their panel discussion covered the dangers of binge drinking, the impacts of teen drinking on brain development, and how alcohol consumption can impact relationships. 

Milwaukee, WI

Communities Talk: Prevent Underage Drinking

Communities within Atlanta experience significant health disparities, which may contribute to the use of substances among youth, young adults, and adults. To mitigate these issues, parents and youth attended the Street Smart Youth Project’s substance use prevention event and learned vital information about keeping children safe and drug free.

Atlanta, GA

"Alcohol" What a Nasty Taste

To address student use and perceptions about alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana in the community, the Center for Pan Asian Community Services (CPACS) hosted an event that provided culturally tailored substance use prevention resources to Asian and Latino youth. The CPACS event also increased public awareness of substance use issues among these populations.

Atlanta, GA

Alcohol Server Knowledge Training

After a devastating car crash involving underage drinking resulted in the death of a young man in the community, the Knox Substance Abuse Action Team highlighted the importance of prevention at their event to address substance use. They continue to plan underage drinking prevention campaigns and hope to reach a broader audience in the future. 

Mount Vernon, OH

ADAPT Town Hall Meeting

ADAPT Lamorinda’s community has higher youth usage rates for marijuana, alcohol, and vaping than surrounding areas. To educate parents who may overlook youth substance use issues, ADAPT Lamorinda hosted an event that they hope will pave the way for future communication and prevention efforts.

Orinda, CA

Youth Communities Talk Event

Copper Corridor Coalition acknowledges the high amount of underage drinking in its community and the role parents play in providing their children with alcohol. They held their meeting to engage youth and inform them of the harmful effects of alcohol. 

Hayden, AZ

We All See Addiction

Residents of Humboldt and Mendocino counties are affected by a higher number of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) than any other county across the state. To increase prevention efforts for substance misuse issues related to ACEs, the St. Bernard's Academy leadership class hosted a town hall meeting focused on understanding addiction to raise awareness that addiction does not discriminate; it affects everyone’s lives in some way.

Eureka, CA

Underage Drinking Panel Focus Group

Arizona Youth Partnership hosted an event for the entire senior class of Ajo High School to learn about the importance of underage drinking and substance use prevention. Through their event, they were able to address the substance use issues in their community by discussing the facts on substance misuse and offering additional resource information.

Ajo, AZ

See The Bigger Picture...For A Brighter Future

The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team (ADAPT) San Ramon Valley’s community faces a variety of substance misuse issues among youth. To prevent underage drinking, marijuana use, and vaping, they collaborated with local youth to host an informative event with prevention activities that educated both youth and parents, including a display of a teen’s bedroom with signs of substance use and a panel discussion.

San Ramon, CA

It All Started with Alcohol

In October 2019, underage drinking resulted in the death of a 19-year-old in Maquoketa, Iowa. When Jackson County Prevention Coalition saw that attitudes and behaviors toward underage drinking in their community did not change, they hosted a Communities Talk event to educate parents on the importance of being proactive in talking to their youth about underage drinking prevention.

Maquoketa, IA

CLEAN Community Event

The C.L.E.A.N. Cass County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition hosted an event to continue their work in bringing together a variety of community stakeholders to work collaboratively on reducing, preventing, and addressing substance misuse and related mental health challenges for their community’s youth. Through partnerships and securing grants, they hope to continue hosting events that educate their community members on the importance of underage drinking prevention, especially in rural communities. 

Atlantic , IA

Pagachao Holiday Talk

A community in Guam, a U.S. territory, faced safety concerns involving underage drinking and substance misuse. As a result, parents and their children discussed issues around access to alcohol through family members and in the community during their Communities Talk event, the “Pagachao Holiday Talk.”  

Agat, GU

Communities Talk Town Hall - Duplin County

Members of the Duplin County Substance Use Coalition had to get creative in holding their Communities Talk event due to several cancellations that were beyond their control. Ultimately, they didn’t let COVID-19 stop their underage drinking prevention efforts and held a webinar as a virtual event to reach their community. 

Kenansville, NC


The Urban Partnership Drug Free Community Coalition (UPDFCC) hosted a youth community town hall to have an open panel discussion about substance abuse and alcohol misuse with inner city youth, parents, and community members in Miami, Florida. 

Miami, FL

Community Talk

More Than an Athlete hosted an event in coordination with law enforcement, school administration, and local business owners to engage youth and young adults in underage drinking and substance misuse prevention. After hearing powerful stories from speakers who had experienced the effects of substance misuse, youth left with a positive message. 

Paramount , CA

Live, Love, Dance

Lake County Youth Services held a community dance open to youth to provide a safe and sober environment to discuss underage drinking and its consequences.

Clearlake, CA

Cre8ting Changes: Attitudes & Perceptions Related to Alcohol Use

Cre8ting Changes’ community faces high rates of substance use and gun violence. Their hands-on event featuring a simulation of operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs provided insight and an educational opportunity for youth to better understand the importance of making good choices when it comes to substance use prevention. 

Pine Bluff, AR

Town Hall Meeting

The Center for Prevention and Counseling (the Center) partnered with local schools and leaders to inform students in Sussex County about the effects of alcohol on developing brains. As part of this engagement, the Center implemented an alcohol awareness contest. The contest allowed students to show their own understanding of prevention and illustrate their perspectives to other students and community members.  

Newton , NJ

STOP Youth Substance Use Town Hall

In Bakersville, North Carolina, the negative effects of underage drinking are often overlooked. To shine a light on the importance of prevention efforts, Mitchell Yancey of the Substance Abuse Task Force partnered with local organizations and schools to host a panel that showcased many different perspectives on why their community should be doing more to address underage drinking.   

Bakersville, NC

Let's Talk About Video Series

Drug-Free Irondequoit (D-FI): Together, Inc., created a video series on issues surrounding substance misuse in the community. By sharing each video on its own social media channels, as well as other local social media accounts, the organization was able to reach a broader audience with its message. 

Rochester, NY

Parents Who Host Lose the Most

The Camden County Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse, Inc. (CCCADA), and Cherry Hill Township Municipal Alliance hosted a Communities Talk event that brought together members of many stakeholder groups in the community, including law enforcement, the religious community, parents, and health care providers. The event aimed to address the increasing rates of underage drinking due to parents allowing children to drink in their homes. Attendees had the opportunity to learn from experts on topics such as current trends in underage drinking and drug use and why parents should not provide alcohol to their underage children.   

Cherry Hill, NJ

Thibodauxville Fall Festival

Nicholls State University’s Health Services Department attended their local Chamber of Commerce’s annual fall festival to raise awareness of underage drinking on campus. Using informational materials and data from a university-wide survey on alcohol and drug use, the Health Services Department was able to successfully engage and educate students and parents about the campus social environment and the reality of underage alcohol use.

Thibodaux, LA

A Community Carnival Gets the Conversation Started in Montana

Located in southwestern Montana, Anaconda is a rural community with fewer than 10,000 residents. Although the town is small, underage drinking rates in Anaconda are much higher than the state’s average. According to Heidi Nielsen, project director for Anaconda Community Intervention, Inc. (ACI), recent data showed that past 30-day alcohol use rates for 8th, 10th, and 12th graders in Anaconda were 110 percent, 55 percent, and 5 percent higher, respectively, than Montana’s state averages.

Anaconda, MT

Breaking Down Silos in Kansas

Communities That Care (CTC) was founded in 2003 to reduce underage drinking in the rural farming community of Reno County, Kansas. Every year, local middle and high school students voluntarily take the Kansas Communities That Care Student Survey, which tracks teen use of harmful substances such as alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. The results of the survey are used to identify high-risk factors while guiding the best research-based interventions.

Hutchinson, KS

Reaching Out in Connecticut

Greenwich High School in Greenwich, Connecticut, hosted a Communities Talk Meetings to Prevent Underage Drinking event through the school’s Outreach Club, which focuses on reducing underage drinking within the community. Although the median income of Greenwich is significantly higher than the national average, the town faces the same youth substance misuse challenges as the rest of the country.

Greenwich, CT

Bringing Families into the School in Colorado

In Windsor, CO, youth perceive underage drinking to be more prevalent than it actually is.  Another local misperception is that alcohol is less harmful than research shows.  Weld County officials, community-based organizations, and the school district are trying to set the record straight in a way that positively engages youth and their families.

To that end, Windsor RE 4 School District partnered with North Range Behavioral Health to host an on-campus Communities Talk Meetings to Prevent Underage Drinking Prevention event. Called “Start the Conversation,” the event offered educators, administration, students, and their families a chance to attend a variety of prevention-related classes and learn about local initiatives at a resource fair.

Windsor, CO

California Student Athletes Keep Each Other in Bounds

Northern California's Butte County has roughly 90 public K-12 schools and is home to both Butte College and California State University, Chico. Many students who graduate from local high schools go on to attend college nearby, which has created what local officials call "the four-year rule." According to Vernon Spearman, of Butte County Department of Behavioral Health, this is when a junior or senior in high school knows a freshman in college who, in turn, has access to fellow college students who can legally buy alcohol. This, by default, gives the high school student a pipeline to alcohol—a main contributor to underage drinking.

Butte County, California

Keeping the Conversation Going with Students in Washington, DC

The District of Columbia is organized into eight Wards, each with approximately 75,000 residents, and each with its own history, neighborhoods, and diverse populations. In Wards 1, 5, 7, and 8, the average age of onset for underage drinking is about 12 years old. In collaboration with the DC Department of Behavioral Health, Bridging Resources in Communities, Inc. (BRIC) leads the Ward 5 Drug-Free Coalition and runs the Ward 7 & 8 DC Prevention Center, which supports residents and educates them about alcohol and substance use.

Washington, DC

Starting the Prevention E>olution! in Arizona

The small, rural community of Amado, Arizona, is susceptible to risk factors that can lead to underage drinking and substance abuse. Proximity to the Mexican border and the community's vast areas of desert and mountain terrain make Amado vulnerable to drug trafficking. The town also sees high rates of poverty and unemployment due in part to low high school completion rates, a lack of job opportunities, and no public transportation.

Amado, Arizona

Bouncing Into Prevention in Florida

A 2014 survey of Florida's Lee County found that 25 percent of high school students and more than 13 percent of middle school students reported using alcohol in the past 30 days. Founded in 1989 by a group of local leaders, the Lee County Coalition for a Drug-Free Southwest Florida is working to reduce the prevalence of underage drinking. The coalition holds lunch-and-learn meetings, Red Ribbon Week celebrations, and prevention events throughout each year.

Fort Myers, Florida

Connecting Prevention Partners Across Albany and Beyond

The University at Albany (UAlbany) is home to almost 13,000 undergraduates and 5,000 graduate students from around the world. For more than a decade, UAlbany has experienced steady declines in student alcohol use and related problems. This trend is due in large part to the work of the university’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), which is recognized as a national leader in the prevention of underage drinking.

Albany, New York

Bridging Generations in Chicago

Many residents, business owners, and law enforcement personnel in Chicago’s West Garfield Park have long been concerned about youth access to alcohol, because alcohol is one of the leading causes of death and violence in their community. And even though these community stakeholders report illegal alcohol sales, and the court system charges and fines the offenders, the activity continues.

Chicago, Illinois

Educating to Avoid Enabling: Parents Preventing Underage Drinking at Home

In Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, and Hermosa Beach in California—what’s known as the Beach Cities community—underage drinking has recently become a problem that people are paying attention to. The community’s high rates of underage drinking compared to the rest of the state are attributed to environmental factors such as affluence, stress, and social norms. Another factor—the high number of alcohol-licensed retailers in the area—may be why youths don’t have difficulty accessing alcohol.

Hermosa Beach, CA

Inspired and Empowered Youth: Working to Prevent Underage Drinking and Change Social Norms

In September 2015, the Roseville City Council in California passed a Social Host Ordinance, which states that adults who allow drinking by underage guests in their home can face a fine—as much as $1,000 for a third offense. The Roseville Police Department and the Placer County Youth Commission (PCYC) both supported the ordinance, saying that it would help change social norms and provide needed education.

Placer County, CA

Illustrating the Importance of Underage Drinking Prevention

The 2014 Iowa Youth Survey revealed some disturbing realities about underage drinking in Emmet County:

  • 31 percent of Emmet County 11th grade students reported using alcohol (vs. the state average of 23 percent).
  • Only 23 percent of 11th grade students in Emmet County reported it would be wrong if their friends were to drink (vs. the state average of 34 percent).
  • Youth reported a perceived availability of alcohol as 82 percent vs. the state average of 64 percent.

Emmet County, Estherville, Iowa

Facing the Facts: Using Community Data to Prevent Underage Drinking

Siouxland CARES has been hosting Communities Talk to Prevent Underage Drinking since 2006. The volunteer-driven community coalition works to reduce alcohol and other drug abuse and related violence by all age groups, but focusing primarily on youth. The Drug-Free Communities Support Program grant that Siouxland CARES administered from 2000 to 2010 refined their goals and objectives with a focus on specific alcohol-related outcomes for their community.

Sioux City, Iowa

Student Advocates Pave the Way in Pennsylvania

Since the inception of Communities Talk: to Prevent Underage Drinking, Coalition Pathways has been an active participant in every cycle. Erie County has been working on underage drinking prevention for years, holding events for rural, urban, and suburban audiences and appealing to middle school, high school, and college students.

Erie County, Pennsylvania

New Jersey Youth Ignite a Spark for Underage Drinking Prevention

In Newton, NJ, the Center for Prevention and Counseling has hosted Communities Talk Meetings to Prevent Underage Drinking every year since 2006. At their event on April 12, 2016, the Center celebrated 23 winners of an "Elect to be Alcohol-Free" contest for youth recognizing April as Alcohol Awareness Month. Winning entries ranged from posters to radio and video PSAs.

Newton, New Jersey

No 'Shushing' in This Library: Talking About Underage Drinking Prevention

In 2015, students from John F. Kennedy Middle School, Enfield High School, and Enrico Fermi High School in Connecticut took an anonymous survey that addressed alcohol and other substances. It covered topics such as binge drinking and driving under the influence, marijuana, heroin, prescription drugs, cigarettes, and e-cigarettes.

Town of Enfield, Connecticut

Celebrating Self, Family, and Community: Using Art to Inspire Conversation Between Teens and Adults

When members of the Janesville Mobilizing 4 Change (JM4C) Coalition reviewed the local school district’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey data and a parent survey, they learned that parents needed and wanted guidance on communicating with their children about substance misuse. Brainstorming soon got underway for their next Communities Talk Meetings to Prevent Underage Drinking event.

Janesville, Wisconsin

Eyes Wide Open in Iowa

Local focus groups in Chickasaw County, Iowa, indicate that youth start drinking between 7th and 10th grade. “The Let’s Get To Work: Our County. Our Health. Our Future” event was designed to educate all segments of the community—primarily parents and students—about underage drinking and its consequences.

Chickasaw County, Iowa