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Community Talk Town Hall Meeting

Hosted by: Healthy Dent County and selecting community service partners

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How does alcohol and other drug misuse affect your community?

Alcohol use disorders in Dent County, Missouri, are a major problem. Alcohol use by youth increased from 19.6 percent to 20.6 percent for those in grades 6 through 12, showing that our underage drinking rate is trending upward. Local interviews also indicate a culture of acceptance around underage drinking in the community.

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What challenge(s) did you face in planning your activity this year?

  • Needed additional resources to conduct activity
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What are your next steps?

  • Expand our coalition with new partnerships in the community
  • Support new prevention policies, legislation, or social ordinances
  • Create a public education campaign to raise awareness and/or change behaviors around underage drinking (i.e., create PSAs and other promotional materials)
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Which Communities Talk resources (or other SAMHSA resources) were most helpful for your activity?

  • Prevention-related webinars
  • StopAlcoholAbuse.gov website
  • Communities Talk planning guides
  • Communities Talk toolkits
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How did a Communities Talk event help you address those issues?

  • Mobilized coalition members or other stakeholders
  • Engagement with local government leaders and business owners to consider policy changes such as social hosting laws or restaurant worker trainings
  • Educated youth and parents
  • Built community cohesiveness and support for our efforts
  • Created an opportunity to share resources and practices with other community stakeholders
  • Helped plan future prevention efforts
  • Raised awareness of substance abuse and/or underage drinking issues in our community
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How did your event make an impact on underage drinking in your community?

We had more than 55 attendees representing all sectors of our community at our event. We had a panel discussion with a high school guidance counselor and three students who answered questions from the superintendent of schools. We also collaborated with the Salem Rotary Club, Salem Chamber of Commerce, Salem Memorial District Hospital, Your Community Cares Rural Health Coalition, and the Prevention Consultants of Missouri.

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