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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.

Get Ready for Communities Talk 2021!


Reduce Underage Drinking Where You Live with Communities Talk

In 2021, SAMHSA is sponsoring the eighth round of its Communities Talk to Prevent Underage Drinking initiative. Since 2002, the use of alcohol among 12- to 20-year-olds has decreased from 29% to 19% in 2019 (2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health). This means that prevention strategies are working! And Communities Talk is an excellent platform to keep the momentum going.

SAMHSA is aware of the widespread impact on communities created by COVID-19 and has accounted for the new reality communities will face when conducting a Communities Talk activity. This year’s initiative includes new planning resources, ideas, and activities that communities can implement despite restrictions created by the pandemic.

Beginning in January 2021, $750 planning stipends will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Keep an eye on your email inbox in January for an invitation to apply for a 2021 Communities Talk planning stipend. You can also email info@stopalcoholabuse.net to request an invitation.

Communities Talk Quick Start Planning Guide – Updated for 2021!

Get a head start on your 2021 activity with the newly updated Quick Start Planning Guide. The guide provides a checklist and calendar to support your planning efforts. It also includes helpful information to complete your Communities Talk profile and registration.

Whether this is your eighth year or first year participating in Communities Talk, the Quick Start Planning Guide is a great way to join SAMHSA, ICCPUD, and other national partners in preventing underage and high-risk drinking.

Prevention Activities in a Socially Distanced World

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, connecting to your community with prevention messages has been increasingly challenging. But there are many ways to keep prevention alive and community engagement strong that don’t require in-person interactions.

Here are some ideas to push prevention forward:

  • Hold a virtual contest for youth in which they creatively express what they can do to help prevent underage drinking and substance misuse. Some ideas include videos, posters, or painting prevention messages on rocks to place in a local park.
  • Create safe virtual spaces for youth to gather and talk about their wellbeing during the pandemic. These discussions are a great way to introduce healthy ways to cope with stress, including avoiding alcohol or other substances.
  • Host a virtual prevention walk with social media props for youth and parents to post and ask them to share video and photos of their walk on social media.
  • Develop a prevention PSA to show during a movie at a local drive-in theater, or choose a movie related to underage drinking and substance use prevention and host a free screening. Check out this 2019 success story from a community in Tooele, Utah for an idea of how you can use movies for an activity in your community, even if you adapt the concept to be virtual!