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York High School Prevention Event

Hosted by: York High School

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How does underage drinking and substance misuse affect your community?

In 2019, all students at York High School participated in a bi-annual survey—the Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey. Working collaboratively with local prevention specialists, school administration, and a newly created coordinated health team, we held a meeting with other local middle and high schools to discuss and share survey results. We each left this meeting with several tasks on how to engage our students in prevention education.

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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
  • Built community cohesiveness and support for our efforts
  • Created an opportunity to share resources and practices with other community stakeholders
  • Helped plan future prevention 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?

  • Prevention-related webinars
  • StopAlcoholAbuse.gov 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?

By continuing to engage members of our school and greater community, more adults are invested in understanding the many ways in which youth, families, and adults can come together to prevent underage drinking and substance misuse. And we know that this conversation has no ending, so we work to keep it a relevant topic year-round in our community, which is why we held several focus groups to gauge interest, understanding, and action around underage drinking and substance misuse prevention. We hope that keeping this conversation top of mind will bring greater awareness of youth rates of alcohol use and access in our community and create successful and transparent partnerships between our schools, policymakers, prevention specialists, and parents in the community.

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

  • Lack of interest from the community
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How did you overcome these challenges?

The lack of interest in attending community events is continuous and often ebbs and flows. We will continue to engage all sectors of our community and enlist them to be partners in prevention.

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What are your next steps?

  • 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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