OAK HILL, WV (WOAY) – The Fayette County Substance Abuse Task Force meets monthly to tackle various substance abuse topics.
This month’s meeting was on a much larger scale as they partnered with the Fayette County Health Department and local law enforcement to hold an all-day seminar at the Lewis Community Center.
Carri Strunk, a prevention specialist with New River Health Associates, says collaboration is key when coming up with solutions to the opioid epidemic.
“Law enforcement is such a key portion of our society that can really help combat this issue,” Strunk said. “I mean, they work tirelessly every day, and they’re dealing with it and we just want to make sure that we’re arming them with all of the resources that they need to do a great job.”
The all-day event brought in various speakers, panels and even had a training session for administering Naloxone, a medication designed to reverse an overdose
Dr. Anita Stewart with the Fayette County Health Department, who lead the training, says it is important to treat substance abuse disorder like any other neurological disease, rather than a moral failure.
“Just like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s or epilepsy, we use medications to treat those and that’s the humane and ethical and medically-appropriate thing to do and so just like that, we would recommend using treatment for substance use disorder,” Dr. Stewart said.
Not only was this a chance to educate and empower, it also showed a community of people all together in one room with a common community mission.
“It takes all of us,” Strunk said. “Addiction is a family disease, and the solution is definitely a community solution. It takes all of us working together before we’re going to actually see a big impact on this problem.”
The task force hosts training sessions on various topics related to substance abuse on the second Tuesday of every month.