What is the Prevention Resource Center (PRC)?
The Prevention Resource Center is a statewide initiative funded by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) that spans across 11 regions. Each PRC functions as a data collection repository, training liaison in substance abuse prevention, and conducts tobacco compliance check at tobacco merchant retailers. The PRC is charged to facilitate and maximize regional resources in data collection in order to develop an annual Regional Needs Assessment.
The data collection efforts carried by PRC are focused on the state’s prevention priorities of alcohol (underage drinking), marijuana, prescription drugs, tobacco, and other drugs. The Prevention Resource Centers collaborate closely with community stakeholders, substance abuse prevention programs, and other community advocates to identify and coordinate training opportunities for the region.
Regional PRC Evaluators have many responsibilities related to the development of a sustainable central data repository in the region. Evaluators are responsible for developing data collection strategies and activities, developing, and conducting surveys and focus groups that target local and county data, as well as analyzing data, creating written and oral reports and databases for the central data repository, and working and collaborating with the HHSC Statewide Prevention Evaluator. The PRC Regional Evaluator also works closely with the Community Liaison, Community Coalitions, and Prevention Specialists in the community to identify those entities that are able to collaborate and provide data resources appropriate for the development of the central data repository.
Regional PRC Evaluators are primarily responsible for identifying and gathering alcohol and drug consumption data and related risk and protective factors within their respective service regions. Their work in identifying and tracking substance use consumption patterns is disseminated to stakeholders and the public through a variety of methods, such as fact sheets, social media, traditional news outlets, presentations, and reports such as this Regional Needs Assessment. Their work serves to provide state and local agencies valuable prevention data to assess target communities and high-risk populations in need of prevention services.
Additionally, Evaluators provide technical assistance and consultation to providers, community groups and other stakeholders for substance abuse data collection activities for the data repository.
Abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs is a problem throughout Region 4 and the entire United States. However, communities vary greatly in the specific problems they face, the groups affected by those problems, and the events that influence people to take action. The PRC aims to identify specific issues and gaps in services existing in the diverse communities in Region 4.
Focus groups can reveal a wealth of detailed information and as well as an insight about issues such as alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use. The Region 4 PRC provides training and conducts focus groups throughout the region that facilitate design, evaluation, and creation of prevention programs, as well as policy making. If you would like to participate in our focus groups or would like information and training please contact the PRC staff at (903) 753-7633 or by email at prc4Training@etcada.com
The PRC performs Key Informant Interviews with the purpose of collecting qualitative information from a wide range of people these include stakeholders, community leaders, professionals, or residents who have first-hand knowledge about the community and trends related to alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs use in the region.
These interviews provide insight on the impact of problems that are ongoing in the community, and may also provide recommendations for solutions. Please contact the PRC staff at (903) 753-7633 or by email at PRC4Training@etcada.com if you would like more information about this data collection process.
Tobacco Education Specialist completes over 1600 voluntary compliance checks with tobacco retailers each year within in the 23 counties of Region 4. Voluntary compliance checks is a prevention strategy of the Synar Law, which was created in 1992. Congressman Mike Synar of Oklahoma introduced an amendment which required States to enact and enforce laws prohibiting any manufacturer, retailer, or distributor from selling or distributing tobacco and was aimed at decreasing access to tobacco products among individuals under age 18. Click here to read more information on the Synar Law.
A voluntary compliance check consist of checking to see if all tobacco products are locked and behind point of sale, checking to see if the tobacco retailer permit is valid and not expired, making sure proper signage is on display, and leaving a packet from the State Comptroller’s Office with proper signage and information a tobacco retailer should know. We also remind tobacco retailers about the penalties of selling minors to anyone under the age of 18.
If you are a tobacco retailer and would like more information, call us at (903) 753-7633.
To request a “Retailer Information and acquisition Tobacco Packet #425” from the Texas Comptroller’s Office, call 1-800-862-2260.
The PRC also provides training and educational presentations addressing the negative consequences of tobacco use, state laws and regulations related to the sale of tobacco.
All presentations are open to retailers, parents, youth, teachers, and other interested community members.
The Texas Tobacco Law website provides information on current laws that are enforced in Texas, training resource opportunities to law enforcement agencies, latest trends about tobacco use in Texas, and other useful links to media campaigns associated with promoting a decrease in tobacco consumption among minors as well as prevention resources. Click here for more information on Texas Tobacco Laws.
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