NAUGATUCK – Around 60 people attended a community drug forum held Tuesday evening at Tug Valley High School that focused on raising concern and hope surrounding prescription drug and heroin abuse.
Jeff Reynolds, with the Mingo County Schools Department of Student Services, hosted the event. Jackie Branch, Vice President of the Board of Education, provided a welcome from the Mingo County Board of Education (BOE). A welcome was also provided by John Mark Hubbard, President of the Mingo County Commission.
Several other speakers spoke at the event. Angie Sparks, Director of Standing Through Our Plan (STOP) Coalition spoke at the event. Michael Browning from Senator Joe Manchin’s office also spoke at the event.
Brad Davis, Pastor of Kermit United Methodist Church and of the Logan Mingo Area Mental Health (LMAMH) discussed several Celebrate Recovery programs the church is training in as well as new programs available through LMAMH. According to the Celebrate Recovery website, “Celebrate Recovery is a biblical and balanced program that helps us overcome our hurts, hang-ups, and habits. It is based on the actual words of Jesus rather than psychological theory.” For more information on Celebrate Recovery visit, www.celebraterecovery.com.
Tim White, of Prestera was the keynote speaker and provided a presentation on prescription drug and heroin abuse.
Other speakers included Bryan Fields, Pharmacy Manager of the South Williamson Food City, Fayetta Gauze, Emergency Room (ER) Director at the South Williamson Tug Valley Appalachian Regional Hospital (ARH) and two troopers from the West Virginia State Police (WVSP).
Joshua Murphy, Project Coordinator for STOP, discussed ongoing efforts from STOP and Crossroads. Crossroads is a recovery home for women located in the Gilbert area of Mingo County. The website states that, “Crossroads Recovery Home for women is dedicated to providing a home for women who are recovering from substance abuse. We will provide a safe and enriching environment free from drugs, alcohol, and violence where mutual support will be a key to recovery.” For more information on STOP or Crossroads visit www.drugfreemingo.org.
Leslie Hill and Shannon Southerland from the Southern Western Regional Jail discussed the jail’s Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Program (RSAT).RSAT is a new program that consists of a 28 bed unit that opened on April 11, at the Southwestern Regional Jail in Logan County. RSTAT is for male inmates that have been sentenced to the custody of the Division of Corrections.
Billy Carrico of the Mingo County Day Report Program discussed ongoing efforts and initiatives taking place with the Day Report Program.
The event concluded with the speaker Drema Dempsey, director of Mingo County Schools Department of Student Services.
(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.)