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More than Meets the Eye

Hosted by: Gateway to Prevention and Recovery

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Please briefly describe your Communities Talk activity.

More than Meets the Eye is a social media and print campaign that promotes healthy conversation between teens and parents about underage drinking and substance misuse. In a mock teen bedroom, we hid alcohol and vaping products in various areas and took photos that we later shared with parents, challenging them to identify the specific items (many of which look harmless at first glance). Additionally, we created a handout for participants to download that contains information and resources.

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How does underage drinking and substance misuse affect your community?

Our coalition found out that many local teens get their alcohol from their parents or other adult-age family and friends. To us, this implies that adults have a low perceived risk of harm in terms of underage drinking, and we need to educate them to understand their role in preventing alcohol and substance use and risks associated with underage drinking.

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What goal(s) did you hope to accomplish with your Communities Talk activity?

  • Reduce prevalence of underage drinking and other substances in community
  • Create an ongoing conversation about underage drinking and substance use prevention in the community
  • Create new resources/materials (e.g., publications, handouts, factsheets, videos, graphics) to support prevention of underage drinking and misuse of other substances
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Who did you involve in your activity planning, and who did your activity impact?

We engaged our Drug-Free Communities grantees, who were primarily responsible for the organization and execution of this project. Our intended audience was parents and other adults who interact with teens, like educators.

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Which Communities Talk resources (or other SAMHSA resources) were most helpful for your activity?

  • Prevention-related webinars
  • StopAlcoholAbuse.gov website
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Did the COVID-19 pandemic affect the planning or execution of your activities?

Yes. Originally, we intended to host an in-person event, but our planning took place during the height of the COVID-19 Delta variant. So, for the health and safety of everyone, we decided to do an online campaign.

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

  • Inexperience hosting Communities Talk activities
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How did you overcome these challenges?

This was our first time hosting a Communities Talk activity, so we leaned on the StopAlcoholAbuse.com website and resources for guidance. Like many others, our plans were altered because of the pandemic, but fortunately we were able to move our activity to an online format.

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What are your next steps?

  • 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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