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Those who host, lose the most!

Hosted by: Tahlequah Public Schools Tahlequah BEST Community Coalition

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Please briefly describe your Communities Talk activity.

Our coalition developed a social host handout to distribute to community members during local high school homecoming activities and events. We also built a giant red plastic cup that served as a focal point and encouraged community members to converse about alcohol use. Our display also led participants to obtain educational information. We also designed and printed large banners to display at the events.

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How does alcohol and other drug misuse affect your community?

In general, alcohol use among youth in Tahlequah is slightly elevated in comparison with youth statewide in Oklahoma. Notably, this pattern differed depending on grade in school and the school itself. Specifically, Tahlequah middle schools had a lower percentage of students drinking alcohol than middle schoolers statewide, but Tahlequah high school students had a higher percentage of students drinking alcohol than high schoolers statewide. The need for alcohol use treatment among Tahlequah students was higher than the Oklahoma average. For middle school students, the percentage of students who needed alcohol use treatment was only slightly higher than Oklahoma students. Tahlequah high school students were more likely to need alcohol use treatment than Oklahoma high school students. Four percent of Tahlequah high school students needed alcohol use treatment, which is 1.6 percentage points greater than the Oklahoma average. 

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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.
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What goal(s) did you hope to accomplish with your Communities Talk activity?

  • 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.
  • Implement social host ordinances.
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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?

  • Inexperience hosting Communities Talk activities
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How did you overcome these challenges?

We brainstormed and reviewed the Oklahoma Prevention Needs Assessment data to ensure our prevention messages targets the most needed area of concern.

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What are your next steps?

  • 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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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.

  • School administration
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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
  • 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 constructed an eye-catching, extra-large red plastic cup, similar to the Solo brand cups, with banners that showed someone with a bottle in their hand and handcuffs around their wrists. The efforts drew individuals to discuss the educational information that we were sharing with the community

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

  • www.oklahomasocialhost.com

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