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Lanier High School Communities Talk Event

Hosted by: Jackson State University Metro Jackson Community Prevention Coalition (MJCPC)

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How does underage drinking and substance misuse affect your community?

At Jackson State University MJCPC and in its communities, youth deal with poverty and drug misuse. These factors lead our youth to use alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. To fight this, we continue to educate on prevention and be the change our young people need to see. We have more than 20 years of success educating our community about the dangers of substance misuse, and our Communities Talk event was a great opportunity to educate our youth and create a prevention dialogue.

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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
  • 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?

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

Our event was very successful. We held a panel discussion at a local high school with local law enforcement and prevention specialists. Teachers and students learned about the consequences of driving under the influence from panel members. Additionally, the MI Department of Transportation brought their distracted driving simulator to illustrate the dangers of driving while impaired so students could understand the severe consequences of driving under the influence firsthand. Students also received alcohol use prevention pamphlets to take home and discuss with their parents.

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

  • Particularly severe or resistant substance use issues in our community
  • Unforeseen difficulties when planning our activity
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How did you overcome these challenges?

At the time of our event, the school was very busy, and it was hard to schedule it. However, we met with the principal and other school officials and were able to plan the event with no problem by scheduling it on the school’s behalf.

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What are your next steps?

  • Expand our coalition with new partnerships in the community
  • 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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