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Youth Communities Talk Event
Copper Corridor Coalition
How does underage drinking and substance misuse affect your community?
We live in a rural community and there aren’t many events available for youth to get involved in around alcohol prevention. We see “rite of passage” underage drinking often, along with parents hosting parties and providing alcohol to their underage children. These norms dramatically increase during graduation parties, and we want to educate parents and youth about the harmful effects of this behavior.
How did a Communities Talk event help you address those issues?
- Educated youth and parents
- Made making good health behavior choices fun and engaging
- Raised awareness of substance abuse and/or underage drinking issues in our community
Which Communities Talk resources (or other SAMHSA resources) were most helpful for your activity?
- We had an officer from the Arizona Liquor Licenses and Control Board come out and talk to our youth about underage drinking.
How did your event make an impact on underage drinking in your community?
We believe our event made an impact because we heard a group of kids discussing their lack of awareness on the harmful effects of underage drinking after the presentation. From causing brain damage to the cost of getting caught, they didn’t realize how negative the impacts can be. Some parents that attended didn't know that they could get in trouble under the Social Hosting law. This event was an eye opener for the entire community.
What other challenge(s) did you face in planning your activity this year?
- Lack of interest from the community
How did you overcome these challenges?
At the beginning, we had no interest in participation from the community. Once we partnered with the school’s Parent Teacher Association, we were able to attract parents to attend this event. The school required students in 6th through 12th grades to attend as well. A week after hosting this event, we were contacted by a neighboring town who wanted to host this event in their town.
What are your next steps?
- Host follow-up meetings or activities
- Expand our coalition with new partnerships in the community
- Conduct research efforts to learn more about issues in our community
- 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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