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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.

NEW! Featured Success Stories; Evaluating Communities Talk Activities


NEW! Featured Success Stories
Ever wanted to go a bit deeper on how Communities Talk hosts really put their events and activities together—and what they achieved? Now you can! Three new success stories describe Communities Talk activities in Maryland, rural Montana, and on a college campus in Florida—each with its own set of environmental challenges and innovations. Take a look to learn what they were up against and how they worked within their communities to get a conversation going about preventing underage drinking.

  • Giving Youth More Than a Seat at the Table (Cecil County, Maryland) Run by high school students, the Drug Free Cecil Youth Coalition held a Communities Talk rally that debuted the six PSAs they developed tackling underage drinking, vaping, marijuana, opioid misuse, OTC drug misuse, and tobacco. Read more to learn how the group pivoted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Tackling Prevention in Rural Montana (Havre, Montana) The Havre Encourages Long Range Prevention (HELP) Committee engaged the Keystone Club, a high school-aged youth leadership and service team that’s part of the local Boys & Girls Club, to hold their first ever Communities Talk activity. The Club distributed information to parents about the social host ordinance in Havre and teens invited parents to practice talking to their children about underage drinking by asking them questions. Keystone Club members also shared statistics about marijuana use in the county, which is a significant problem in this community. Read on to find how Club members are continuing to engage youth across two counties and two reservations.
  • Fitting In at FSU (Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida) Florida State University’s (FSU) Center for Health Advocacy and Wellness (CHAW) hosted an open forum for students on underage drinking, specifically to educate underage students on the university’s recently revised Medical Amnesty Policy. Working with the campus housing department, they also tackled issues such as marijuana use, binge drinking, and alcohol-related overdoses. Read more and find out how CHAW staff took their alcohol and substance misuse prevention education efforts entirely online during summer 2020.
Evaluating Communities Talk Activities
If you have held a Communities Talk activity or event this year, it’s time to review and evaluate its impact; this is the best way to plan strategically for future activities and put you in the best possible position to respond to the underage drinking and substance misuse prevention needs of your community. Communities Talk has a tip sheet, Evaluating Your Communities Talk Activity, to make this process easier. SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework also has a section on evaluation.

The SAMHSA-funded Prevention Technology Transfer Center (PTTC) Data-Informed Decisions Working Group has created helpful materials, too. Its Primary Data Collection Methods: A Review Sheet supports you in addressing data gaps through primary data collection. It provides several methods and select resources as a starting point for any prevention team’s planning. These methods can involve varied means of data collection, including oral narratives, written text, photographs, video, and others. Also check out the recently released Checklist for Identifying Data Gaps.