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Making a Difference for Franklin County's Children

Hosted by: Franklin County Schools

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How does underage drinking and substance misuse affect your community?

The culture often condones underage drinking, so it is prevalent in Franklin County and often accepted as a rite of passage. Smoking or vaping begins in junior high and some later graduate to marijuana. Drugs especially methamphetamines and opioids have become a huge problem. The sheriff’s department has reported more heroin lately. Recently a young man on drugs was killed after trying to maintain high speed on country roads.

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

  • Mobilized coalition members or other stakeholders
  • Educated youth and parents
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Which Communities Talk resources (or other SAMHSA resources) were most helpful for your activity?

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

Two hundred student leaders (grades 10-12), teachers, administrators, law enforcement, parents, Children’s Policy Council, government officials, medical personnel, social workers, and other stakeholders met in Russellville to hear speakers including VOICES, Alabama Kids Count, District Attorney, State Representative, Sheriff, Superintendent, and an Alabama State Trooper. Topics included laws about alcohol and substance abuse, arrests, hosting, statistics, impact on health and question time.

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

  • Needed additional resources to conduct activity
  • The event went well. Wished we had invited students for entire day instead of just the afternoon.
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How did you overcome these challenges?

The event went smoothly with people representing many factions of our community present. The morning of the program addressed adults about many problems with the general health and welfare of children including poverty, substance abuse, juvenile crimes, social and emotional intelligence. The afternoon concentrated more on alcohol and substance abuse with the students who were bussed in from the six different high schools. Students would have probably benefitted from being there the entire day.

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What are your next steps?

  • Host follow-up meetings or activities
  • Create new action groups to tackle specific issues raised during our Communities Talk activity

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