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Open Forum on Campus

Hosted by: Florida State University

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How does underage drinking and substance misuse affect your community?

Binge and underage drinking are huge concerns in our community. While making new friends, FSU freshmen often feel pressured to participate in behaviors that promote underage and binge drinking in college, so it is vital that we instigate prevention efforts to help them make healthier decisions. Additionally, as students binge and underage drink more often, they can face more and more negative consequences, which we want to prevent. Our event was hosted in partnership with University Housing to encourage students to say “no” to underage and binge drinking. As student participants are able to process and support this idea, they will change social norms at FSU through their behavior, and our prevention efforts will be successful.

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

  • Mobilized coalition members or other stakeholders
  • Created an opportunity to share resources and practices with other community stakeholders
  • Helped plan future prevention efforts
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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
  • Communities Talk website
  • Communities Talk planning guides
  • Communities Talk support staff
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How did your event make an impact on underage drinking in your community?

In our open forum discussion, freshmen participants said that they have witnessed multiple incidents related to underage and binge drinking in residence halls and outside on campus grounds. This information has given us insight into current data, as well as the effectiveness of encouraging students to actively intervene and take a stand to help prevent underage and binge drinking among their peers whenever the opportunity presents itself.

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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?

Partners with a proven commitment to promoting underage drinking prevention were encouraged to invite more participants to our open forum. This collaboration provided opportunities for participants to hold great discussions, as community members with varying stances on the issue were able to have friendly debates about approaches to curb and eliminate underage drinking.

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What are your next steps?

  • Host follow-up meetings or activities
  • 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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