TeachME Professional Development

Community Collaboration to Prevent Teen Substance Abuse

Section 1: Why is Collaboration Important to Your Community?

1. The mission of Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is to reduce teen substance abuse and help families impacted by addiction, and a top organizational priority is to deliver resources and tools to parents to educate them on teen substance abuse issues and:

A. Teach them how to communicate with their children about critical concerns including drug use

B. Encourage them to get more involved in their children's lives before there is a problem

C. Motivate them to take action to address these issues

D. Show them how to be good role models for their children


The Problem

2. Research shows that people who begin using drugs or alcohol as teenagers are more likely to become addicted later in life than those who begin using after their teenage years, and since prevalence and trends of specific drugs change over time, it is of vital importance to stay informed on the latest drug and alcohol trends affecting adolescents.

A. True

B. False


3. Data from the University of Michigan indicates that the most commonly abused drugs by high school seniors are marijuana, ecstasy, and methamphetamine.

A. True

B. False


Collaboration Gap

4. Despite the need to have a healthy partnership among community agencies to address substance abuse, in many communities there has been little or no collaboration between these stakeholders in dealing with the community's substance abuse issues.

A. True

B. False


Section 2: What is Collaboration?

5. Collaboration is defined as an opportunity to form a relationship in which all the team members contribute their _______________ to achieve something larger and more meaningful than they could otherwise do individually.

A. Time and resources

B. Diverse viewpoints and perspectives

C. Expectations and feedback

D. Expertise and strengths


Section 3: The Need for Collaboration

6. Most community professionals share the goal of wanting to help prevent and reduce substance use among young people, and generally believe that substance abuse prevention messages aimed directly at kids are the best prevention strategy, followed closely by:

A. Providing alternative avenues for teens to socialize

B. Targeting parents to assist in the process

C. Limiting access to various substances

D. Ensuring that teens are engaged in school and community


Figure 1: Five Barriers to Collaborative Efforts

7. When law enforcement, education, and health professionals were asked what the biggest barriers were to past collaborative efforts, the greatest barrier reported was lack of available time, followed by lack of agency support.

A. True

B. False


8. According to the authors, when collaboration occurs among agencies to prevent substance abuse, each of the following benefits will likely occur EXCEPT:

A. Accomplish what cannot be done individually for the betterment of the community, and gain public recognition for other ongoing projects

B. Create awareness of a serious local issue and connect with populations that haven't previously been reached

C. Build respect and buy-in from youth organizations, adolescents, and their parents

D. Prevent duplication of individual or organizational efforts while establishing more opportunities for new projects and programs


Section 4: Identifying and Creating Relationships

9. When beginning the process of identifying potential partners to work on teen substance abuse, the scope of the problem within the community and the geographic area to be targeted need to be considered.

A. True

B. False


Selecting Partners

10. As community partners reach out to an organization for the first time, they will need to find out who would most likely be the decision maker, since support from leadership proves critical to being able to commit organizational resources to the effort.

A. True

B. False


Setting and Managing Expectations

11. One of the first steps when signing on with potential partners is to envision what their expectations might be for the joint effort, as well as:

A. What they foresee as a means to meet these goals

B. What barriers they are concerned with

C. What successes and roadblocks they have experienced in the past

D. What they view as the major priority for the collaboration


Section 5: How to Work as a Team: Getting Started-Set Up a Planning Meeting

12. Good communication and respect support successful partnerships, and one way to begin building trusting relationships is to keep everyone informed of goals, progress, and plans.

A. True

B. False


What Do You Want to Achieve?

13. A vision that incorporates all the partners' expectations will set a strong foundation for effective teamwork needed to reach that goal, and:

A. It lets collaborators know what they are signing up for

B. It makes everyone focus on the task at hand rather than getting caught up in the minutia

C. It facilitates the discussion in a productive way

D. All of the above


14. Which of the following is NOT one of the recommended strategies to establish and maintain open communication among collaborators?

A. Avoid jargon and acronyms

B. Create a norm that encourages communication

C. Keep goals, values, and concerns out in the open, even if the news is not always good

D. Practice sound communication skills and be trustworthy


15. Collaboration among partners may include "Brainstorming 101," which encompasses preparing the group by setting up a comfortable environment, talking as much as possible to encourage discussion of new ideas, and evaluating ideas as they are presented.

A. True

B. False


What Are You Actually Doing?

16. The primary goal of the first big planning meeting among stakeholders is to determine who will do what to achieve project goals, based on competencies and clout.

A. True

B. False


Section 7: Funding Issues

17. Once funding needs have been identified, establishing who will seek the funding is an important step to ensure organization and collaboration, and to minimize duplication efforts.

A. True

B. False


Section 8: Final Evaluation Results and Implications

18. When assessing collaboration projects that had been implemented in three communities, the biggest challenge cited was:

A. Keeping adolescents engaged throughout the process

B. Getting parents to attend presentations, especially if the presentations were standalone events

C. Having enough time and resources to meet intended goals

D. Lack of adequate training of community partners


Section 9: Conclusion and Call to Action

19. One of the unexpected advantages of building partnerships to address substance abuse is that experienced gained and relationships built can be used to address other community issues.

A. True

B. False


Appendix A: Why Kids Use Substances

20. Some of the main reasons that adolescents report using drugs and alcohol include stress from school, to enhance relationships, to get through transitions and to fit in, because they are available, and:

A. As a way to exert their independence

B. Due to boredom and curiosity

C. Out of ignorance

D. Because they are addicted


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