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Red Ribbon Week Kickoff

Hosted by: Allen County Drug and Alcohol Consortium, Inc

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How does underage drinking and substance misuse affect your community?

With many adults in our community, there is a general acceptance of underage drinking to a certain degree. Alcohol is still a presence at many graduation parties and other rites of passages for our young adults. Alcohol is also easily accessible for many of our youth, both at home and in the community.

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

  • Educated youth and parents
  • 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
  • StopAlcoholAbuse.gov website
  • Communities Talk website
  • Communities Talk planning guides
  • Communities Talk toolkits
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How did your event make an impact on underage drinking in your community?

Our event focused on changing the attitude toward alcohol for the youth in our community and served as a kick-off event for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Red Ribbon Week in late October 2019. We hosted the event at a local youth organization (Boys & Girls Club of Fort Wayne) where approximately 400 youth attended. After the event, we conducted follow-up activities with pledge cards and a poster contest. It is our hope that the information provided in these activities will promote knowledge of the risks of alcohol use by youth and encourage healthier choices.

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

  • Needed additional resources to conduct activity
  • Inexperience hosting Communities Talk activities
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How did you overcome these challenges?

We enlisted the help of our host organization to collaborate on factors that presented challenges, such as providing refreshments and conducting follow-up activities. With their help, navigating through the challenges was made much easier.

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What are your next steps?

  • Host follow-up meetings or activities
  • Support new prevention policies, legislation, or social ordinances
  • 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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