Gilmer Free Press

WV Attorney General, Three Universities Expand Eighth Grade Drug Prevention Program

The Free Press WV

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has expanded a partnership with colleges in West Virginia aimed at sharing drug abuse prevention information with eighth grade students.

The initiative, launched in March 2017 with the West Virginia University School of Nursing, now involves the Attorney General and four programs at three universities. New additions are the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy, Marshall University School of Nursing and Shepherd University’s Department of Nursing Education.

“These universities continue to be key players in meeting health care needs in our state,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “The addition of more universities to the roster expands our geographic footprint and means more opportunities to reach students across the state. Working together to educate students about the dangers of prescription drug abuse will lead to a brighter future for West Virginia.”

The Attorney General’s Office will coordinate events and provide the university serving that area with a detailed curriculum, which then will be presented by the university students. The curriculum covers multiple aspects of the opioid epidemic, including the connection between prescription drug abuse and heroin addiction, prevention and the long-term impact of drug use.

“It’s been an excellent learning experience for our WVU Nursing students to take information about opioids to children and adolescents in the schools,” said Dean Tara Hulsey of the West Virginia University School of Nursing. “We’re glad to participate in the program again this year.”

“The School of Pharmacy is excited to expand our program to combat the drug epidemic in West Virginia by partnering with the School of Nursing and the Attorney General’s Office,” said Dr. Gina Baugh, coordinator of the opioid education partnership with the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy. “We hope that this interprofessional education initiative with allow WVU to be an additional part of the solution to combat the opioid crisis in the state.”

“Through our collaboration with the West Virginia Attorney General, Marshall’s School of Nursing will help to educate students on understanding the opioid epidemic and the dangers of prescription drug misuse and abuse,” said Dr. Tammy Minor, assistant professor for Marshall’s School of Nursing. “We know healthcare providers must partner with other community health and state agencies to educate the public about misuse and abuse of prescription drugs, namely opioids. We are proud of Marshall’s student nurses and their efforts to implement a preventive program to target school age children and educate them on the dangers of drug abuse.”

“We’re just thrilled that we have this opportunity to partner with the Attorney General’s office,” said Dr. Sharon Mailey, acting dean for and chair of Shepherd’s Department of Nursing Education. “The nursing program is very much connected with the community and we feel a strong obligation of service and to give back to that community.”

The collaboration with each university represents one initiative through which the Attorney General has sought to combat West Virginia’s drug overdose death rate. It follows last fall’s widely successful Kids Kick Opioids public service announcement contest, also targeted at raising drug prevention awareness with elementary and middle school students.

Other efforts include criminal prosecutions, civil litigation, multi-state initiatives, new technology, engagement with the faith-based community and a best practices toolkit endorsed by more than 25 national and state stakeholders.

--> Wednesday, September 13, 2017
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