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Alcohol & College: A Town Hall Event

Hosted by: UAB Wellness Promotion

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How does underage drinking and substance misuse affect your community?

Our campus has not had comprehensive alcohol misuse prevention until this past year when a specialized position was created. Data collected over the last 5 years showed a continuing trend of drinking and driving and binge drinking rates among students, so we decided it was time to focus efforts on these issues.

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

  • Educated youth and parents
  • Created an opportunity to share resources and practices with other community stakeholders
  • 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 videos, such as College Drinking: Prevention Perspectives
  • StopAlcoholAbuse.gov website
  • Communities Talk website
  • Communities Talk planning guides
  • Communities Talk toolkits
  • Communities Talk social media content (e.g., Facebook, Twitter)
  • Communities Talk e-Alerts
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How did your event make an impact on underage drinking in your community?

According to our administered surveys, students reported that they were more aware of the issues on campus and believe that administration needs to more adequately support prevention programming. The Student Government Association wants to be more involved in programming and advocating for resources. Parents reported a better understanding of the role they play in communicating with their college student about alcohol misuse and why they should stay involved.

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

  • Needed additional resources to conduct activity
  • Lack of awareness of our event or organization
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How did you overcome these challenges?

We partnered with other organizations on campus such as Active Minds, student government, health services, and fraternity and sorority life. We also asked professors to encourage their students in class to come to the event.

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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
  • Support new prevention policies, legislation, or social ordinances
  • Conduct research efforts to learn more about issues in our community
  • 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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