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Communities Talk - Addiction

Hosted by: Spink County Coalition and Redfield Public School

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Please briefly describe your Communities Talk activity.

We hosted two presentations with Dr. Melissa Dittberner. The first presentation was at the Redfield Public School, with students grades 6–12 and faculty in attendance. Dr. Mo, as she refers to herself, is a faculty speaker at the University of South Dakota. She has spent the most recent years of her career focusing on harm reduction, prevention, and grassroots nonprofit work. In an effort to relate to the Redfield Middle School and High School students, we worked to bring in three college students to be part of the presentation via Zoom. These students talked about addiction to alcohol, tobacco (in particular vaping), and drugs and participated in a Q&A. We hosted a second community-based meeting with Dr. Mo, as well as parents, pastors, local law enforcement, and other community leaders, to talk about addiction and efforts to “unnormalize” underage drinking, tobacco use, and drug use. 

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How does alcohol and other drug misuse affect your community?

Flyer of Spink County Communities Talk activity.  January 20th

The Spink County Coalition works within the school district on prevention every day. But we know that we have a long way to go when it comes to taking the “normal” out of underage drinking in our community and county. We continue to work with local law enforcement and the school administration to reach the youth in our community. We host alcohol-free events, keep the doors to our local youth center open, and continue to educate the community at large about the dangers of underage drinking. We also provide Prime for Life classes for all youth in the school district who have a drug, tobacco, or alcohol infraction.

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

  • Community-Based Process Strategy - focuses on enhancing the capacity of the community to address AOD issues through organizing, planning, collaboration, coalition building, and networking.
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What goal(s) did you hope to accomplish with your Communities Talk activity?

  • Hold meetings or discussion groups on alcohol and/or other drug misuse prevention.
  • Develop strategic plans to reduce and prevent alcohol and/or other drug misuse.
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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
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How did you overcome these challenges?

We had to find a speaker that we felt would have relevance with the youth in our school and with parents in our community. We also had to seek additional funds to pull the event together.

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What are your next steps?

  • 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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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.

  • Faith-based based organizations
  • Law enforcement
  • Secondary schools
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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
  • Prevention specialists and volunteers
  • Law enforcement officials
  • Youth leaders (e.g., coaches, parks and recreation personnel, and scouting leaders)
  • Clergy
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How did you reach and engage your primary audience(s) to encourage them to participate in your activity?

Newspaper articles, fliers and radio ads were used to pull together our audience for the activity.

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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
  • I enjoyed reading about other presentations held through other grant recipients.

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