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Pathway to a Healthy Beginning

Hosted by: Sweetwater County Prevention Coalition, Wellbeing and Accessibility

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Please briefly describe your Communities Talk activity.

We held a panel discussion in which panelists shared their underage drinking experiences. We had educational materials available for attendees. There was a lot of great discussion on what adults should do and how they can help children stay away from alcohol. In addition, people gave their personal experiences, and that was really beneficial. 

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How does underage drinking and substance misuse affect your community?

We have a general need for prevention. Alcohol is widely accepted in our community, so, culturally, children are growing up and thinking that it is okay to consume alcohol, and parents see it as a rite of passage. 

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

  • 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
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Who did you involve in your activity planning, and who did your activity impact?

Several community stakeholders were involved. In addition, we hope our activity impacted parents and the youth in our community.

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

  • Communities Talk planning guides
  • Communities Talk toolkits
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Did the COVID-19 pandemic affect the planning or execution of your activities?

No, it did not.

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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
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How did you overcome these challenges?

Despite having these issues in our community and having some community members who don’t see underage drinking as a problem and consider it a rite of passage, we continue to hold community events to better educate people. We hope this can help those who may be resistant to changing a “rite of passage” understand the importance of prevention and ultimately, help us address these severe issues in the community. We just have many people who are very resistant to change.

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What are your next steps?

  • Host follow-up meetings or activities

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