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Alcohol Prevention Day at Auburn Library and Barrow County Farmers Market
The Council on Alcohol and Drugs
Please briefly describe your Communities Talk activity.
For our Communities Talk activities, we held two alcohol prevention days at local organizations. The first event was our Teen Alcohol Prevention Night at the Auburn Public Library. At this event, we provided youth with prevention materials and hosted a trivia game where youth spun a wheel to answer a “myth or fact” trivia question about underage drinking and other substances. Our youth community members were very engaged in this game, and many were even shocked to learn that some of the “facts” they thought to be true about alcohol and other substances were myths. We also provided parents with alcohol prevention materials and brochures, including a magnet our coalition designed to encourage parents to monitor alcohol supply at home.
Our second event was to recognize Alcohol Prevention Day at the Barrow County Farmers Market. At this event, we again played the alcohol prevention trivia game and provided alcohol and drug prevention brochures and information to parents and youth. At both events, we also provided parents with information about our state social host liability law and encouraged them not to provide alcohol to teens. To find out more information about our events, programs, and strategies in alcohol and drug prevention, please visit our website or find us on Facebook or Instagram.
How does underage drinking and substance misuse affect your community?
In Auburn, Georgia our coalition has heard reports of many youth using alcohol on a regular basis. This community is lower income than many other areas of Barrow County. Often parents work second shifts or commute to other areas for work. One of our local conditions contributing to youth alcohol use is lack of parental supervision. When we have collected date through local surveys, most youth who say they drink alcohol say they most often access it at home or at a friend's house. This data is also shown by the Georgia Student Health Survey 2.0 (GSHS 2.0) that is conducted in all public schools though out the state. When our coalition conducted key informant and community readiness interviews, we found there have been several alcohol-related car crashes and other tragedies that have taken place with youth and young adults in the area that have sadly resulted in injury or death. In our data collection through interviewing key leaders of the community, we found that it is the culture of the community to think that "all kids are drinking alcohol", when in fact our local data and GSHS 2.0 data reveal that only about 10% of middle and high school students in Auburn actually use alcohol.
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
- Create new resources/materials (e.g., publications, handouts, factsheets, videos, graphics) to support prevention of underage drinking and misuse of other substances
- Awareness and enforcement of social host laws) to support prevention of underage drinking
Who did you involve in your activity planning, and who did your activity impact?
To plan our activities, we met as a coalition to discuss potential events and ideas. As a coalition, we decided we would be more successful and reach more youth and parents if we partnered with other local organizations. We worked as a coalition to plan activities, reach out to community partners, and gather and create new prevention materials to distribute to youth and parents. We also partnered with the Auburn Public Library’s Director, Barrow County government, and the Director of the Barrow County Farmers Market.
Which Communities Talk resources (or other SAMHSA resources) were most helpful for your activity?
- Prevention-related webinars
- StopAlcoholAbuse.gov website
- Communities Talk website
- Communities Talk planning guides
- Communities Talk toolkits
Did the COVID-19 pandemic affect the planning or execution of your activities?
Yes. Because of the pandemic, we did not think that hosting a large, in-person event ourselves would generate much of a crowd. Thus, we decided to partner with other local organizations to host two smaller events.
What other challenge(s) did you face in planning your activity this year?
- Lack of interest from the community
- Lack of promotion/awareness of our activity or organization
How did you overcome these challenges?
By leaning on other local organizations, we were able to build enough buzz through their channels and networks to get the community excited for our events.
What are your next steps?
- Host follow-up meetings or activities
- Expand our coalition with new partnerships in the community
- 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)