New Substance Preventive Program Comes To Oak Hill

OAK HILL (WOAY)- Fayette County held a community prevention meeting in Oak Hill with local leaders on how to combat substance abuse.

DR. Alfgeir Kristjansson, Assistant Professor of West Virginia University, spoke to local residents, law enforcement, and emergency officials on a program he thinks will prevent teenagers from starting drugs or alcohol. The program is called, ICE, (Integrated Community Engagement), and it’s an evidence-based substance use prevention approach for middle and high school-aged teens, their families, and communities. The model is based in Iceland where they have seen a greater reduction in youth substance than any other European Country. The program thrives on altering adolescents social behavior by engaging them in the community. The goal of ICE is to bring the schools, families, and communities together to identify critical risk and protective factors tailored for certain ages and grade level.

“We are trying to acquire interest and raise awareness about the need for the community to come together and work collaboratively in preventing the initiation of drug use in children adolescents”, says Dr. Alfgeir Kristjansson, CO-Director Of Ice, WVU Assistant Professor

“Although we are focusing on treatment and we have a harm reduction program at the Health Department, we also need to focus more on prevention”, says Teri Harlen, Director Of Fayette County Health Department

Fayette County hopes to hold future meetings on the importance of substance prevention and hope more community members will come together to raise awareness.

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