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COMMUNITIES TALK: UNDERAGE DRINKING PREVENTION
How does underage drinking and substance misuse affect your community?
Underage drinking and substance misuse impact our community in several ways. As the usage increases, there are consequences that impact not only the individual but the community—from lack of continuing education to legal ramifications and crime. A major concern is the accessibility of substances to teens and the laws surrounding them sending mixed messages.
How did a Communities Talk event help you address those issues?
- Educated youth and parents
- Built community cohesiveness and support for our efforts
- 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
Which Communities Talk resources (or other SAMHSA resources) were most helpful for your activity?
- Prevention videos, such as College Drinking: Prevention Perspectives
- Communities Talk planning guides
How did your event make an impact on underage drinking in your community?
We hosted our event in collaboration with a national nonprofit group. We partnered with their “flip the script” program, which is catered toward giving young men and women who have had criminal challenges a second chance. By providing this population with more education and awareness about preventing underage drinking and substance misuse, we were giving them a voice and a positive channel to plug into as they worked to move forward from their past.
What other challenge(s) did you face in planning your activity this year?
- Needed additional resources to conduct activity
- Lack of interest from the community
- Lack of awareness of our event or organization
How did you overcome these challenges?
To overcome some of the challenges, the messaging we provided allowed participants to think and discuss substance misuse in their communities and families, and then allowed them to create a public service announcement (PSA). This created an engaging and captivating way to discuss a serious topic.
What are your next steps?
- Host follow-up meetings or activities
- 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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