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Wellness Wednesday Webinar: Don't Get Twisted on Drugs Panel and Poetry Slam

Hosted by: Tuskegee University Department of Social Work, TEARS, Tuskegee Youth Safe Haven

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Please briefly describe your Communities Talk activity.

We held a weeklong Communities Talk activity, in collaboration with our National Red Ribbon week efforts, to show our overall commitment toward creating a drug-free America. We featured educational games that highlighted substance misuse prevention resources, an interactive panel discussion, and a youth-led poetry slam. Additionally, we held an activity to encourage youth to commit to a drug-free lifestyle among their peers.

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How does underage drinking and substance misuse affect your community?

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in underage drinking and substance misuse affecting our community.

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

In our activity planning we involved community agencies and partners. The target audience was at-risk youth, youth in substance use recovery, youth going through addiction, as well as caregivers and parents, and we aimed to provide them with resources for a holistic approach to prevention education. In addition to our in-person activities, we were able to create an online forum about the effects of drugs on the brain and body, led by social workers, nurses, and health science students. There was also a youth-led poetry slam and rap session about being drug-free.

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

  • StopAlcoholAbuse.gov website
  • Communities Talk website
  • Communities Talk planning guides
  • Communities Talk toolkits
  • Communities Talk social media content (e.g., Facebook, Twitter)
  • Communities Talk Find an Activity Map
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Did the COVID-19 pandemic affect the planning or execution of your activities?

No, the COVID-19 pandemic did not affect the planning of our activities.

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

  • Needed additional resources to conduct activity
  • More funding for giveaways to draw in youth to the event, and more funding to purchase top-notch curriculum and speakers.
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How did you overcome these challenges?

In order to overcome these challenges, we used funds beyond the stipend to get giveaway materials to entice youth participants to attend. 

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What are your next steps?

  • Partner with community agencies to continue prevention education and outreach for at-risk youth.

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