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It All Started with Alcohol

Hosted by: Jackson County Prevention Coalition

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How does underage drinking and substance misuse affect your community?

Alcohol use is a social norm in our community and we are working on the early stages of readiness to address underage drinking. In October 2019, underage drinking resulted in the death of a 19-year-old. However, their death had little impact on attitudes and behaviors toward underage drinking in our community.

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How did a Communities Talk event help you address those issues?

  • Educated youth and parents
  • Built community cohesiveness and support for our efforts
  • 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?

  • Communities Talk planning guides
  • 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 presenter at our event educated attendees on the fact that substance misuse can affect anyone’s child. Parents learned that they have influence over their children’s lives and it’s vital to be proactive in talking to their youth about underage drinking prevention. They also learned that the earlier kids start drinking, the likelihood of the youth engaging in other substance misuse goes up.

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

  • Lack of interest from the community
  • Particularly severe or resistant substance use issues in our community
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How did you overcome these challenges?

We held our Communities Talk event in conjunction with a parent-teacher conference in order to access the parent audience that was already in attendance.

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What are your next steps?

  • 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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