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Talk to Me

Hosted by: Franklin County Prevention Coalition

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How does underage drinking and substance misuse affect your community?

According to a survey we conducted, past 30-day usage of alcohol by high school students has dropped by 7 percent in the past 12 years—but we still have a long way to go in the prevention of underage drinking. Our current rate of 30-day usage of alcohol by high school students is 29.5 percent. Alcohol is the substance that is used most often by our high school students. We also have a low perception of disapproval, with only 85 percent of students thinking their parents disapprove of drinking.

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

  • Educated youth and parents
  • Raised awareness of substance abuse and/or underage drinking issues in our community
  • Helped us engage our youth in prevention efforts
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Which Communities Talk resources (or other SAMHSA resources) were most helpful for your activity?

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

We were able to partner with the local theater and share our message of underage drinking prevention with more than 3,000 people. We also shared our prevention message on social media and reached an additional 800 people. Having this many people seeing the same message has helped raise awareness and start conversations between parents and teens about the dangers associated with underage drinking.

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

  • This was our first attempt using video and we had some technical issues and the cost was higher then expected
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How did you overcome these challenges?

We learned a lot about the technical side of creating this event. We also created a new partnership with the high school A/V department to help us navigate our event’s technical needs, which allowed the youth who were involved to learn new skills.

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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)
  • Expand our youth coalition and continue to create messaging on this subject

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