Environmental scan training to be offered

Submitted by Gwen Hesson - Prevention Co-coordinator

The Fayette County Prevention Coalition of the Fayette County Community Action Commission will conduct a training on environmental scans on Jan. 28.

The training will be both virtual and in person with limited seating at the Community Action conference room. During the in-person training, all current social distancing guidelines will be followed.

The training will provide information to volunteers, students and adults on how to properly conduct an environmental scan for the purpose of assisting the community in decreasing youth alcohol and tobacco consumption.

Environmental scans are important to communities because they help identify the community’s risk factors that can contribute to underage or excessive alcohol consumption. With this knowledge, strategies can be created to reduce these harmful issues.

A study published in the May 2016 issue of the “Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs” found that kids ages 11 to 14 typically saw 2-4 alcohol ads per day. While television was often the source, outdoor ads, such as billboards and signs outside stores and restaurants, were even more prominent in kids’ lives.

The 2018 Illinois Youth Survey showed that 19 percent of 12th graders who use alcohol obtained it from a retail source. Additionally, 5 percent of those same 12th graders and 6 percent of 10th graders took or stole it from a retail source. Conducting scans allows an opportunity to open dialogue with business owners who may not realize that by having displays in certain locations, alcohol could be stolen more easily.

A Fayette County scan was conducted by Christina Blair in 2017. Blair reported, “Many retailers are doing things right! We are a small community, but it is still impressive that so many take this seriously.”

To review the full report, visit www.cacfayettecounty.org/fcpc/.

A new survey is needed to assess not only the current climate in businesses that sell alcohol and tobacco but also the needs of the community. The Fayette County Prevention Coalition (FCPC) hopes that community members will assist in providing this vital scan and volunteer alongside the FCPC volunteers and students representing the local youth coalition groups.

To join, plan on attending on Jan. 28 at 10 a.m. Registration is required — contact Gwen A. Hesson at 740-335-7282 to register.


Submitted by Gwen Hesson

Prevention Co-coordinator