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Georgia Teen Institute Town Hall Meeting

Hosted by: Gwinnett United in Drug Education, Inc. (d/b/a GUIDE, Inc.)

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How does underage drinking and substance misuse affect your community?

We know that alcohol is the number one drug chosen by youth. With that said, we make it a priority in our work to address that issue by empowering youth to create prevention projects to take back to their communities across the state of Georgia. During Georgia Teen Institute 2019, youth from 27 counties had the opportunity to use their voices to outline action plans and determine the resources needed in order to address this issue.

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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
  • Made making good health behavior choices fun and engaging
  • Raised awareness of substance abuse and/or underage drinking issues in our community
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Which Communities Talk resources (or other SAMHSA resources) were most helpful for your activity?

  • Prevention-related webinars
  • Prevention videos, such as College Drinking: Prevention Perspectives
  • StopAlcoholAbuse.gov website
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How did your event make an impact on underage drinking in your community?

At Georgia Teen Institute 2019, we conducted two town hall meetings at which a total of 277 youth and 73 adults attended. During these meetings, participants had the opportunity to engage in an alcohol and drug myth trivia game, gain knowledge and skills related to refusal, and learn how to conduct similar events in their own communities. We were able to call upon our young adult staff to help conduct these meetings, which showed the importance of peer-to-peer leadership.

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

  • We did not face any challenges in planning or hosting our event.

We have conducted similar town hall meetings before, and we honestly felt as though we had all the resources needed to be successful.

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How did you overcome these challenges?

We have conducted similar town hall meetings before, and we honestly felt as though we had all the resources we needed to be successful.

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What are your next steps?

  • Host follow-up meetings or activities
  • Support new prevention policies, legislation, or social ordinances
  • 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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