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Communities Talk e-Alerts are technical assistance newsletters to help event organizers plan, host, and evaluate events aimed at mobilizing a community around evidence-based prevention of underage drinking.

Prevention Resources for Underage Drinking and Marijuana Use; New Data About Alcohol Use

Preventing Underage Drinking and Marijuana Use

Communities Talk events primarily focus on underage drinking prevention. But the events also are a great opportunity to discuss other substance misuse and prevention-related topics that are important to your community, including marijuana use. Addressing the dangers associated with underage and young adult marijuana and alcohol use can increase the impact of your event and energize your community’s prevention work. SAMHSA’s Know the Risks of Marijuana webpage and SAMHSA’s “Talk. They Hear You.” campaign website have facts and materials for you to use when planning or hosting your Communities Talk event.

Back-to-School Season: An Opportunity to Help Parents and Caregivers Prevent Underage Drinking and Drug Use

A new school year often brings a fresh start for children and their families. It’s also a time to revisit conversations with children about alcohol and other drugs. Resources from SAMHSA’s “Talk. They Hear You.” national media campaign helps parents, caregivers, and other role models have conversations about alcohol and other drugs with children. Read SAMSHA’s blog by Johnnetta Davis-Joyce, M.A., Director of SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, for details about using the campaign in your prevention initiatives this school year.

Using Data to Mobilize Your Community

Community leaders, parents, and other concerned citizens become more invested in prevention when they learn how many adolescents and young adults begin using alcohol each year. You can use data from SAMHSA’s 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health to educate your community about underage drinking and get them engaged in prevention strategies.

Date: 10/09/2019

AlcoholFX: An Engaging App for Middle Schoolers. Plus, the Benefits of Images in Your Communities Talk Profile

SAMHSA’s AlcoholFX App Helps Educators Highlight Alcohol’s Effects on the Brain 
As an educator, you do important work every day to help youth in your community build healthier, brighter futures. Helping kids understand the consequences of using alcohol, and how alcohol can harm their brains, is key to ensuring they achieve their goals. Download SAMHSA’s AlcoholFX app for tablets at no cost to help share these messages.

Enhance Your Communities Talk Profile 
Thank you to everyone who added event flyers to their Communities Talk profile! Your flyers, event photos, and media coverage bring your events to life on the Find a Meeting map and offers other Communities Talk hosts ideas for their own activities. If you have not had a chance to share your flyers, photos, etc. for your event, please add them to your profile.

Date: 09/19/2019

Introducing the Communities Talk Toolkit! Plus, Tips for Year-Round Event Planning.

New Communities Talk Toolkit
Check out the new Communities Talk Event Host Toolkit. This all-inclusive guide has detailed information for first-time hosts and for those who want to expand the impact of their events. Be sure to read the social media section to find updated sample content for your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. The toolkit also includes updates on ways you can engage the media with your event.

Strategic Planning for Year-Round Underage Drinking Prevention
When developing your substance misuse prevention strategic plan, remember to include Communities Talk as part of your underage drinking prevention efforts. Effective prevention efforts begin with a strong strategic plan—a process for setting goals and objectives, and for determining how to achieve them and how to measure impact. SAMHSA has resources that will help you as you plan programs and evaluate results.

Date: 08/07/2019

Whatever Venue or Format Works in Your Community Works for Communities Talk! Plus, Tips for Using Your Planning Stipend.

Inside, Outside, Small, Virtual—Whatever Format Works in Your Community Works for Communities Talk!
Not all Communities Talk events need be large or follow a traditional meeting approach. Every community is unique, with different populations and different concerns about the causes and effects of underage drinking. A variety of venues and formats can be used to host an event, including hosting a virtual meeting using social media. Read on to learn how.

Using Your Planning Stipend
SAMHSA requires Communities Talk stipends be used to cover the costs of planning and hosting an event. The stipends can be used to cover the costs of printing promotional materials or for facilities rental, and there also are other creative ways to use the funds.

Date: 07/10/2019

Register Today for New SAMHSA Webinar on June 25! Leading the Way: Maximizing the Power of Youth and Young Adult Leadership in Communities Talk

Join us for a webinar on June 25 from 2–3 p.m. EDT to hear from an all-youth panel about how to engage youth and young adults in underage drinking prevention strategies.

Date: 06/20/2019