WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WV (WOAY) – While West Virginia has been a major target for substance misuse around the state, some groups are coming together to change the narrative.
The Princeton-based nonprofit, Community Connections came together with the CADCA “IN ACTION” initiative to host the Power of Prevention luncheon at the Greenbrier Resort Thursday. An event based around raising awareness of substance misuse prevention, the luncheon was also in cooperation with the GameChanger Golf Tournament.
It was a day to allow prevention professionals from across West Virginia to work together and come up with ideas to stop the drug use that’s crippling the Mountain State.
“West Virginia takes this very seriously that we have a problem, as well as the entire nation, it’s destroying the fiber of our communities, it’s destroying our family units, and I think that we feel like it’s going to take a comprehensive and cohesive effort by all of these groups working together,” Executive Director of GameChanger, Joe Bozcek says.
A new program to come in the state, GameChanger is taking steps towards teaching students about the importance of prevention and giving them the right tools to say no to drugs.
The program has already made its way into a few different West Virginia schools already, and will eventually be incorporated into all of them.
Thursday’s event was specifically about raising the funds to make that initiative happen in the schools.
“Prevention education, the experts, the people who have studied the awful problem with Opioid and substance misuse, we believe it starts with educating the youth with not just saying no but why they should stay away,” Bozcek says.
Along with talking about prevention education, the event will connect regional prevention organizations and coalition networks across the state.
The luncheon was just the beginning of a great start to the GameChanger movement in the state. By the Fall of 2027, the program will be brought to 681 schools.