Peoria launches a substance abuse prevention effort
A newly coordinated effort in Peoria aims to reduce substance abuse in young people. Nearly 150 people attended the first Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Peoria County meeting. The S.A.P Coalition aims to impact those between 13-to-25 in the county. Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll is leading the effort. She says there were 32 drug related deaths of Peoria County residents last year. She says the process will be gradual. Ingersoll says they are starting with encouraging 100 percent school participation in the next Illinois Youth Survey. The blind survey is given every two years to students 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th. The Coroner says the survey data will help the coalition further access the community need. Ingersoll says only 30-percent of students in Peoria County Public Schools participated in last year’s survey, and high school seniors were not included. The coalition is led by a 12-member steering committee. It’s one of about 40 coalitions in the state. The next S.A.P. meeting is 10 o’clock March 27 at the Hult Center. Anyone with interest is invited to attend. Those with questions and potential contributions are asked to contact the Peoria County Coroner’s Office.