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LOL-Learning Out Loud about Underage Drinking

Hosted by: Boys Girls Club of Southeast, Alabma and Ozark City Schools

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Please briefly describe your Communities Talk activity.

This event was a partnership with the Ozark City Schools. The event took place in downtown Ozark at the Downtown Performing Arts Amphitheater. There was a panel of guest speakers including the Chief of Police, an insurance agent, a pediatrician, an Alabama state trooper, and a counselor. The panel answered a series of pre-determined questions and then shared their personal knowledge and experience with the audience. At the end, the audience was able to ask the panel additional questions.

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How does underage drinking and substance misuse affect your community?

The Chief of Police shared a lot of insight on underage drinking in our community. He highlighted the dangers of underage drinking, and shared stories with the audience about how underage drinking affects the entire family.

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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
  • Awareness and enforcement of social host laws) to support prevention of underage drinking
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Who did you involve in your activity planning, and who did your activity impact?

We planned our event in partnership with Ozark City Schools. We reached out to a variety of professionals to be on our panel, as noted above. The event reached youth between the ages of 11 and 18.

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

  • StopAlcoholAbuse.gov website
  • StopAlcoholAbuse.gov What’s New email newsletter
  • Communities Talk website
  • Communities Talk planning guides
  • Communities Talk toolkits
  • Communities Talk social media content (e.g., Facebook, Twitter)
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Did the COVID-19 pandemic affect the planning or execution of your activities?

No, the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t affect the planning or execution of our event.

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What other challenge(s) did you face in planning your activity this year?

  • Lack of interest from the community
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How did you overcome these challenges?

While we didn’t have the attendance we would’ve liked to have, we still had an incredible event. We plan to host the event again before spring break, but we plan to host it in schools so we can ensure that we reach our desired audience.

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What are your next steps?

  • Host follow-up meetings or activities
  • Expand our coalition with new partnerships in the community
  • 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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