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I Did What? Watch Party and Group Discussion

Hosted by: SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions)

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Please briefly describe your Communities Talk activity.

Students participated in watching a theatrical performance of "I Did What?", a one act virtual play put on by SADD students across the Nation via Zoom. The play centers around two friends and a party they want to attend, the peer pressures they encounter around attending that party, and the aftermath of the decisions made after engaging in risky behavior with alcohol. The students were able to see themselves in the shoes of the actors, with real life portrayals of everyday teen life. SADD chapters across New York watched the performance and then engaged in a discussion session where they talked about the realities of peer pressure, how they can avoid alcohol and other drugs and effectively refuse engaging in risk taking behaviors. They were also able to go further and talk about some issues within the own schools and communities surrounding substances, how they can combat those issues and support folks struggling with addiction, and what they planned to do to make their communities safer. This was a great way to engage with our students in a distanced/virtual format but keep them talking about their current realities.

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How does alcohol and other drug misuse affect your community?

Students understood through these events that it's up to them to speak up and make a difference with their peers when they see this type of behavior happening. They are more aware of their opportunity to be an active bystander, to help their friends engage in safe and sober ways, and to keep their community at large safer by making smarter and healthier decisions.

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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
  • Awareness and enforcement of social host laws) to support prevention of underage drinking
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What challenge(s) did you face in planning your activity this year?

  • Needed additional resources to conduct activity
  • Lack of interest from the community
  • Particularly severe or resistant substance use issues in our community
  • Unforeseen difficulties when planning our activity
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How did you overcome these challenges?

We really needed to do a lot of outreach and communication with chapters to make this as simple as possible without overloading the students further with more virtual content. Once we got that format figured out the execution was simple.

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What are your next steps?

  • Host follow-up meetings or activities
  • Students will continue their prevention work in their communities.
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Which Communities Talk resources (or other SAMHSA resources) were most helpful for your activity?

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

This activity was hosted by SADD National and New York SADD to provide the content and theatrical performance to the students. New York SADD worked directly with the chapters to host the screenings of the performance and guided discussion.

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

While we had hoped for students to take the performance and replicate it in their communities on a live basis, it was easier to have them engage in the screening of the pre-recorded performance instead for everyone's safety.

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