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Every Person Impacts Community (EPIC) Businesses Project

Hosted by: Early Prevention Impacts Community (EPIC) 

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Please briefly describe your Communities Talk activity.

For our Communities Talk activity, we distributed public service announcements (PSAs) for the launch of EPIC Businesses. The EPIC Business project recognizes area businesses for their efforts in building a healthy and safe community. This project specifically focuses on businesses that engage in best practices to prevent underage use of alcohol and other risks associated with alcohol use. For a business to receive this designation, the following criteria need to be met:

  • Business has strong written policies, with specific, consistent consequences related to alcohol sales.
  • Business uses evidence-based underage drinking prevention practices.
  • Staff receive training on best practices for alcohol sales to prevent underage drinking.

This is a project we have been planning for a while and finally launched this year. Through the assistance of Communities Talk, we were able to recruit and bring together representatives from a couple of businesses to help us launch this project in our community.

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How does alcohol and other drug misuse affect your community?

While drug use is generally frowned upon in our community, the culture in our community is one that does not discourage underage drinking. Data from the Missouri Student Survey suggest that when it comes to parental and peer perception, students feel that alcohol use is more accepted than any other substance. Additionally, through data collected by the local university, we know that underage drinking at bars and restaurants is a serious problem, with many youth using fake IDs and many not being carded at all.

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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
  • Foster collaboration between community stakeholders for continued underage drinking and substance use prevention activities
  • Improve policy/legislation (e.g., reducing alcohol advertising to which youth are exposed; instituting, promoting, or increasing alcohol compliance checks; improving
  • Encourage community and local businesses to implement measures to prevent underage drinking (e.g., restricting or decreasing sales of alcohol at community events; conducting responsible beverage service training)
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How did you overcome these challenges?

We addressed the challenges of the pandemic by doing activities that could be completed entirely remotely.

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

  • Communities Talk website
  • Communities Talk planning guides
  • Communities Talk toolkits
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Who did you involve in your activity planning, and who did your activity impact?

We organized our activity with stakeholders from local businesses and media experts.

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Did the COVID-19 pandemic affect the planning or execution of your activities?

Yes, the COVID-19 pandemic affected our activities.

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