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Red Ribbon and Alcohol Prevention
Please briefly describe your Communities Talk activity.
We decided to hold our Communities Talk event during the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Red Ribbon Week at a local youth mentoring center. By combining these events, we were able to reach many youth in our community. In addition, the National Guard shared a drug and alcohol prevention presentation that consisted of hands-on, interactive displays. Lastly, youth participated in our beer goggle obstacle course, which was a huge eye opener for them to see how alcohol affects their motor skills.
How does underage drinking and substance misuse affect your community?
Drug and alcohol misuse is an ongoing and serious problem in Brevard County. Our county ranks third in the state for drug and opioid overdoses. When it comes to alcohol misuse, 23% of adults in Brevard County admit to binge or heavy drinking. According to a Florida youth substance misuse survey for Brevard County, lifetime prevalence rates of alcohol misuse in Brevard County appear higher than the state rates. Overall, 58% of students in Brevard County reported alcohol misuse in their lifetimes. Bervard County reports having 38% of youth in their community, and the survey shows 31% of youth have used alcohol in the past 30 days.
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
Who did you involve in your activity planning, and who did your activity impact?
We connected with a local youth mentoring program to hold our event. We also partnered with the National Guard, which participated by providing resources and presentations. Our audience consisted of middle school and high school students.
Which Communities Talk resources (or other SAMHSA resources) were most helpful for your activity?
- Communities Talk website
- Communities Talk planning guides
- Communities Talk toolkits
Did the COVID-19 pandemic affect the planning or execution of your activities?
The pandemic did not affect our activity.
What other challenge(s) did you face in planning your activity this year?
- Unforeseen difficulties when planning our activity
- Due to the timing, we ran into a lot of issues with finding a space to hold the event as well as getting community partner participation.
How did you overcome these challenges?
We overcame this by combining our event with one of our other Red Ribbon events at a youth after-school mentoring program. Not only were we able to reach our target audience but it solved our location issues, and we reached more youth.
What are your next steps?
- Host follow-up meetings or activities
- Create new action groups to tackle specific issues raised during our Communities Talk activity
- Expand our coalition with new partnerships in the community
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