WV Game Changer announces partnership to bring substance use prevention to more students

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY)- Today, Gov. Jim Justice, the “Head Coach and General Manager” of the WV Game Changer initiative, announced that a coalition of private collaborators, including WV Game Changer, the West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute, and the world-renowned Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, is developing a plan to bring a new, comprehensive, evidence-based approach to substance use prevention to students and schools throughout the state.

“I’ve said many times that our kids are the greatest treasure we have in West Virginia, and we need to do everything in our power to combat substance use from the classroom to help ensure our children the brightest future possible,” Gov. Justice said. “I thank WV Game Changer, the Drug Intervention Institute, and Hazelden Betty Ford for joining forces and working with our school systems to make a powerful difference for the next generation of West Virginians.”

Another collaborator in the effort is the BARR (Building Assets, Reducing Risks) Center, a national nonprofit dedicated to educational best practices.

Gov. Justice initially announced the multi-organization partnership during his State of the State address on Feb. 10. During the address, he recognized WV Game Changer Executive Director Joe Boczek, Hazelden Betty Ford President and CEO Mark G. Mishek, and the BARR Center’s Founder and Executive Director Angela Jerabek.

WV Game Changer is a West Virginia-based, youth-led prevention, positive development, and community enhancement initiative, designed to educate, support, and empower young people to help each other make healthy choices as they strive to be the leaders of tomorrow.

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