AG announces new faith-based substance abuse initiative

CHARLESTON, WV (NEWS RELEASE ) — Attorney General Patrick Morrisey unveiled a new faith-based initiative aimed at empowering religious groups across West Virginia in the fight against substance abuse.

The Attorney General will kick off “Combatting Addiction with Grace” with a conference next week in Parkersburg. It will be followed by similar events continuing through next spring.

“The faith-based community plays a big part in fighting this horrible epidemic,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “We must work together to see significant improvement, and most importantly save the thousands of lives caught in addiction’s grasp.”

The goal will be to form an action plan and ideas of how to combat the drug epidemic in each community represented.

“It is very encouraging to see the West Virginia Attorney General’s Office reaching out to the faith based community for sharing of resources and ideas in an effort to help make a difference together,” said Joe Busch, pastor of congregational care at South Parkersburg Baptist Church. “While other state and local agencies provide crucial services to those lives impacted by addiction, it has always been The Church’s Mission to reach out to the broken in spirit, to offer hope and a future, for only God can change the human heart.”

The initiative will connect faith leaders with law enforcement, first responders, residential treatment and local substance abuse groups among others. Attendees also will receive resources to help those suffering from opioid abuse and addiction, while expanding their understanding of the statewide impact.

The Parkersburg event takes place Tuesday, June 13, at South Parkersburg Baptist Church. It will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There is limited space available, however those wishing to attend should contact Brooke Albright at (304) 777-9906 or via email at Brooke.E.Albright@wvago.gov.

“Combatting Addiction with Grace” continues the Attorney General’s holistic approach to reduce the supply and demand of prescription opioids, as well as an educational component to prevent future addiction.

This holistic approach includes criminal prosecutions, civil litigation, increased funding, multistate partnerships, new technology, awareness initiatives, drug incinerators and drop boxes to dispose of unwanted/expired prescriptions and the best practices toolkit endorsed by more than 25 national and state stakeholders.

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