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One Pill Can Kill

Hosted by: Vanden Academic Decathlon FNL Chapter

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Please briefly describe your Communities Talk activity.

We had an in-person presentation about the dangers of fentanyl in our communities. We had two professionals answer frequently asked questions once we were done with the presentation as well as 12 students. We had approximately 40 parents and member of the greater community attend. We distributed pamphlets with information on the dangers of fentanyl.

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How does alcohol and other drug misuse affect your community?

Members in our community are faced daily with the struggle of fighting against the abuse alcohol and other substances. For example, Zach was a member of our community who was affected by drugs and ultimately led to his death due to fentanyl. His story is shown in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDMRmi9or6E

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Which prevention strategy(ies), as defined by SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, best fit your Communities Talk activity?

  • Environmental Strategy - focuses on establishing or changing community standards, codes, and attitudes thereby influencing incidence and prevalence of alcohol and other drug use within the community. The strategy depends on engaging a broad base of community partners, focuses on places and specific problems, and emphasizes public policy.
  • Information Dissemination Strategy - focuses on improving awareness and knowledge of the effects of AOD issues on communities and families through “one-way” communication with the audience such as speaking engagements, health fairs, and distribution of print materials.
  • Education Strategy – focuses on “two-way” communication between the facilitator and participants and aims to improve life/social skills such as decision making, refusal skills, and critical analysis.
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What goal(s) did you hope to accomplish with your Communities Talk activity?

  • Create alcohol and/or other drug misuse prevention action groups (e.g., committees, task forces, and advisory boards).
  • Start a youth-led coalition on alcohol and/or other drug misuse prevention.
  • Develop strategic plans to reduce and prevent alcohol and/or other drug misuse.
  • Build coalitions with other agencies or programs to reduce and prevent alcohol and/or other drug misuse.
  • Reduce or limit alcohol and/or other drugs outlet density.
  • Implement social host ordinances.
  • Draft policy changes for my community that focus on alcohol and/or other drug misuse prevention.
  • Work with my local legislators or policymakers to educate about the importance of changes to, or recommend enforcement of, existing laws and policies.
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Did you accomplish your goal(s)?


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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
  • Lack of promotion/awareness of our activity or organization
  • Adapting to conducting a virtual activity
  • This is still an ongoing effort to effect changes in the local community.
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How did you overcome these challenges?

We tried working with others who were knowledgeable about the things we were unsure about. They helped us figure out how to set up the necessary materials required to have a successful community talk. We also tried reaching out to various local organizations and communities in order to spread the word about our presentation.

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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
  • Support new prevention policies, legislation, or social ordinances
  • Conduct research efforts to learn more about issues in our community
  • Create a public education campaign to raise awareness and/or change behaviors around underage drinking (i.e., create PSAs and other promotional materials)
  • We re continuing to build upon and extend our efforts through the abovementioned activities.
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If you’ve conducted Communities Talk activities in prior years, how has your repeated participation contributed to progress in achieving your prevention goals?

It made us better at public presentations which improved our ability at conveying the information and spreading the word about our prevention goals and achieving those goals.

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Organizations that conduct Communities Talk activities often involve other organizations in the planning and execution of events. Please indicate which type(s) of organizations you involved in your activity planning.

  • Youth-led organizations
  • Colleges or universities
  • State and local government agencies (e.g., public health departments)
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Which of the following best describes the primary audience(s) for your Communities Talk activity?

  • Youth
  • Parents
  • Teachers or other education staff
  • The media
  • American Indian or Alaska Native community members
  • Asian community members
  • Black or African American community members
  • Hispanic community members
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander community members
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBTQ) community members
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How did you reach and engage your primary audience(s) to encourage them to participate in your activity?

We had active participation in certain parts of our presentation to engage our audience in the presentation. We spoke about material that related to those who were in the audience.

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

  • Customizable Resources for Communities Talk Promotion and Implementation
  • StopAlcoholAbuse.gov website
  • Communities Talk social media content (e.g., Facebook, Twitter)

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