Health providers and local officials come together to fight a common goal: The Opioid Epidemic

Dozens of health providers and officials from Raleigh County are coming together to fight one common goal: the opioid epidemic.

“The Appalachian region has been one of the hardest hit, in terms of substance abuse, whether it be the opioid medication or herion. A lot of different factors because of that, so it’s crucial for the community to respond to that in a positive way because this is all about saving lives and changing lives,” Fred Wells Barson II, the Founder of Project Lazarus, told us. 

And that’s exactly why these stakeholders met on Monday afternoon to listen to a future action plan to combat this problem based on a model used in other cities.

“We’re looking at a community wide workshop to where we are actually exposing are experiences and lessons learned, and our failures, to get their minds going about what they could do in their sphere of influence. Both as a person, as a professional. We get each sector to develop their own action plans,” continued Barson.

Raleigh County is one of the first counties to receive funds and assistance from the West Virginia State Grant provided by the Federal government. 

With this new grant and the help from Project Lazarus, Raleigh County now has the resources to increase community education and efforts to fight this epidemic.

Other main goals in this coalition are to have more prescription drug “drop boxes” around the county, and to distribute life-saving drugs to every part of the community.

“There’s a lot of folks who understand that we have a problem. It’s not them, it’s us. We have problems in our families, rural areas, and we need to change that,” expressed Herb Linn, the Executive Director of the WVU IVRC.

The main discussion was that There isn’t one treatment that will work for everybody, but there is treatment for everybody. 

Sponsored Content