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What’s New

Communities Talk What’s New articles share information to help event organizers plan, host, and evaluate events aimed at mobilizing a community around evidence-based prevention of underage drinking.

Communities Talk Success Stories; Managing Youth Stress and Substance Use During COVID-19


Success Stories—Prevention Work Continues Despite Impacts from COVID-19 Pandemic

Community Partnerships to Help Communities Talk
Mohave Area Partnership Promoting Educated Decisions (MAPPED) | Nevada
In a community located close to casinos in Laughlin, Nevada, alcohol is available 24 hours a day in large quantities. Marijuana use is also legal. MAPPED expected to host a Communities Talk meeting to address these issues, but the event had to be rescheduled due to COVID-19. MAPPED pivoted and focused on the use of a digital billboard to continue spreading prevention messages to its community. Read more to find out how they met the challenge and made an impact.

Communities Talk Town Hall–Duplin County
Duplin County Substance Use Coalition | North Carolina
In this very rural North Carolina community, the only afterschool activity available for youth is sports. With little else to do after school, and commonly left unattended, youth in the area have easy access to alcohol. In response, members of the Duplin County Substance Use Coalition planned to hold an in-person Communities Talk event to address the need for substance use and misuse prevention efforts. But unforeseen challenges and the pandemic forced this group to turn their in-person event into a virtual webinar. Learn how they met the challenge with the help of a local partner and what they have planned for the future based on the feedback they received.

Managing Youth Stress and Substance Misuse During COVID-19 Pandemic

There is no doubt—the COVID-19 pandemic is having an impact on mental health and substance misuse. During a recent presentation, Dr. McCance-Katz, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, reported a 90 percent increase in calls to SAMHSA’s National Helpline in March 2020 compared to March 2019. In a news article, Dr. McCance-Katz noted reports of more people seeking treatment for alcohol problems in regions where coronavirus had hit the hardest.

According to the CDC, youth and young adults may turn to alcohol and other drugs to cope with the boredom, fear, and loneliness felt during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, supporting the mental health needs of young people strengthens their resilience and is important because it helps them find healthy ways to cope during the pandemic. As a prevention professional, you can help build resiliency by reaching out to your community as much as possible, using social media, virtual meetings, text messaging, or any other way to connect virtually that works for you.

Here are some resources for youth, parents, or other caring adults for you to share with your community.


Helplines and Treatment Resources