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Parents Who Host Lose the Most

Hosted by: Camden County Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse, Inc. and Cherry Hill Township Municipal Alliance

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How does underage drinking and substance misuse affect your community?

Camden County, New Jersey, has one of the highest rates of overdose deaths and Narcan deploys in the state. Additionally, youth are being exposed to alcohol at younger ages, and there has been an increase in the rates of underage drinking due to parents providing alcohol to their children as a rite of passage, as parents seem to feel that it is safer for their children to drink in their homes. Camden County Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse, Inc. (CCCADA), and Cherry Hill Township Municipal Alliance’s mission and goal is to continue to bring the message of prevention to each community we serve and reduce rates of underage drinking and related issues.

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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
  • Communities Talk website
  • Communities Talk planning guides
  • Communities Talk toolkits
  • Communities Talk social media content (e.g., Facebook, Twitter)
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How did your event make an impact on underage drinking in your community?

The C.A.N. (Community Alliance Network) Drug-Free Community Coalition brought various community sectors together for a town hall meeting, including members of the law enforcement community; prevention, treatment, and recovery advocates; healthcare providers; the faith community; parents; local business owners; the media; and other stakeholders. The event featured a range of speakers, including Substance Use Navigators (SUN), who presented on “Underage Drinking and Current Drug Trends” specific to the local community; a Coalition Coordinator, who presented on “Parents Who Host Lose the Most!”; a Youth Empowered Program (YEP!) Coordinator, who presented on how to get involved as advocates and leaders; and CCCADA staff, who presented on policy review.

In our community, SUNs are funded through the state and serve as a bridge to connect organizations with one another to help form a more cohesive and comprehensive system of care for youth with addiction and mental health issues. Additionally, YEP! is a program that works with area students to implement lessons around alcohol and other substance use prevention, life and refusal skills, communication skills, and more. Students can also participate in monthly YEP! Meetings to learn more about “Everyday Leadership” and how they can promote and implement prevention programs (such as Red Ribbon Week, Kick Butts Day, Rx Take Back Days, National Drug & Alcohol Fact Week, National Prevention Week, etc.) in their school or community.

One of our goals for that event was to provide attendees with knowledge and information from area experts around youth, underage drinking prevention, and related resources. In addition, we encouraged participants to weave the speakers’ messages and programs into their communities as strategies to reduce underage drinking. To date, several of our participating organizations have met with our staff to discuss policy changes. Others have invited SUNs to present at their organization, and several have worked to bring the YEP! program to their school. We’re very pleased with the success of our event and the collaborations we fostered.

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

  • We did not experience any challenges for our event.
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How did you overcome these challenges?

We did not experience any challenges while planning or conducting our event.

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What are your next steps?

  • Host follow-up meetings or activities
  • Create new action groups to tackle specific issues raised during our Communities Talk activity
  • Expand our coalition with new partnerships in the community
  • 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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