WILLIAMSON – The Strong Through Our Plan (STOP) Coalition discussed upcoming events for 2016 at the monthly meeting held Wednesday, Jan. 13 at the Mingo County Board of Education.
In the spring, STOP plans to host another community forum. “I would like to have a seasonal forum as well as a Town Hall Meeting,” Joshua Murphy, Partnership for Success Coordinator, said.
In Oct., a community forum was held during Red Ribbon Week to discuss synthetic drug use. “I want to throw a question out to you guys. Last time, we spoke about synthetic drugs. Do you think there should be a specific topic for this forum and if so, what should that topic be?”
Tim White, from the Governor’s Task Force on Substance Abuse, responded saying, “In our Jan. meeting, I am going to be rolling out to all ten coalitions a brand new community tool kit on heroin and prescription drugs. We are going to be encouraging each county to hold a community dialogue on heroin and prescription pain killers. That may be something you all would like to take a look at.”
Murphy agreed saying, “That is definitely a good idea.”
Jeff Reynolds was in attendance at the meeting representing the Family Resource Network. Reynolds discussed holding the next community forum at a different location. The last forum was held at the Williamson Fire Station. “Invite the same group of people but illustrate that it isn’t just one community that we are focusing on. My first two thoughts are to either go to the Harless Center in Gilbert or go to the other end of the county in Kermit,” Reynolds explained.
Murphy also discussed having a Teen Summit for high school seniors this year. “I would like to do a Teen Summit for high school seniors working with Southern (Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College). That is something else we will have coming up as well as other community and professional trainings,” Murphy said.
Prescription drug drop off boxes were also discussed at the meeting. “Delbarton and Matewan are having their prescription drug drop off boxes. We have had them but they haven’t been ready for use yet but we should have that this week. We are going to have three in all in the county. We already have one in Williamson. The other two will be in Delbarton City Hall and Matewan City Hall. They are available 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. It is available to the public and anonymous,” Murphy said.
STOP plans to focus on youth led initiatives this year. One way STOP hopes to achieve this is through establishing Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) chapters in schools and communities. “We (STOP) are able to provide funding, training, and any kind of support possible to get these chapters rolling and also get them working in the communities,” Murphy said.
For more information on the STOP Coalition visit http://www.drugfreemingo.org.
(Courtney Pigman is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected], or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.)