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Town Hall Meeting

Hosted by: Shawnee Transformation Youth Coalition

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How does alcohol and other drug misuse affect your community?

Underage drinking and substance use affect our community in major ways. By conducting state-led compliance checks—which requires a youth, youth supervisor, and a law enforcement officer—we have witnessed young people being able to purchase alcohol and tobacco products from our community stores before they are of the legal age to do so.

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

  • Lack of awareness of our event or organization
  • Inexperience hosting Communities Talk activities
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How did you overcome these challenges?

We utilized the tools for “first time hosts” offered on the Communities Talk website and were able to get coalition members to assist with planning. When hosting future events, we learned that we should introduce our event sooner to the public to give people time to plan to attend.

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What are your next steps?

  • Expand our coalition with new partnerships in the 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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Which Communities Talk resources (or other SAMHSA resources) were most helpful for your activity?

  • Communities Talk website
  • Communities Talk planning guides
  • Communities Talk toolkits
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How did a Communities Talk event help you address those issues?

  • 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
  • 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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How did your event make an impact on underage drinking in your community?

Our parents, coalition members, and community partners (liquor stores, local commercial retailers, and more) have been great supporters and follow the state laws by asking for ID when young people attempt to purchase alcohol and tobacco products at their businesses. Our efforts were able to reach youth, young adults, and parents, and we are always trying to bring together different community sectors to make sure that laws are followed when they relate to alcohol, substances, and our youth.

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