It’s almost back-to-school time, and as students prepare for classes, it’s important to continue education around underage drinking prevention, as well. Almost 400,000 students ages 12–13 reported that they drank alcohol in 2015, while about 4.5 million students ages 16–17 reported drinking alcohol in the same year (Table 3.21A). September is also one of the top four months when full-time college students use alcohol for the first time. To help you prevent underage drinking, and ultimately, strengthen youth in your community, we’ve compiled a list of helpful resources so that youth of all ages can start this school year prepared to tackle underage drinking.
Since 2006, Communities Talk: Town Hall Meetings to Prevent Underage Drinking have brought together educators, health care providers, families, community leaders, local businesses, and youth to discuss the best strategies to increase awareness of underage drinking in their neighborhoods, strengthen or create underage drinking prevention laws and ordinances, and bring together all the diverse individuals, groups, and organizations necessary to move an issue forward.
It’s never too early to start preparing for your 2018 Communities Talk: Town Hall Meetings to Prevent Underage Drinking event. As you gear up for the 2018 Communities Talk event cycle and host events in 2017, remember that preventing underage drinking in your community can yield big rewards in terms of health, safety, academic achievement, employment, stable families, and safe communities.
On Thursday, May 25 from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. EST, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will launch a new video series via webinar titled College Drinking: Prevention Perspectives From the Field. The series is a resource that showcases underage drinking prevention strategies on and around college campuses across the nation. Register for the webinar to learn more about the video series and prevention strategies.
SAMHSA’s National Prevention Week (NPW) is May 14-20! If you’re thinking about or already planning a Communities Talk event during NPW, check out the NPW Planning Toolkit for last minute event ideas and planning tips. The daily NPW theme on May 16 is Prevention of Underage Drinking & Alcohol Misuse—the perfect opportunity to host a Communities Talk event.