CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Concord University have partnered to expand a program aimed at sharing drug abuse prevention information with eighth grade students.
The initiative, launched in March 2017, now involves Concord University’s Department of Health, Physical Education and Athletic Training, as well as four programs at three other universities.
“These universities continue to be key players in meeting health care needs in our state,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Adding Concord’s Department of Health to the roster expands our geographic footprint and means more opportunities to reach students, especially in southern West Virginia. Working together to educate students about the dangers of prescription drug abuse will lead to a brighter future.”
The program reached more than 4,600 students during the most recently completed semester as nursing and pharmacy students partnered with the Attorney General to visit middle schools across the state.
The Attorney General’s Office will coordinate events and provide Concord’s Department of Health with a detailed curriculum, which then will be presented by Concord 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.
“The students and faculty of Concord University are excited to partner with the State Attorney General’s Office in their strategically targeted efforts to curb the tide of drug use, misuse, and abuse in West Virginia,” said Dr. David Campbell, chair/professor of Concord’s Department of Health. “As future health educators, Concord University students are passionate about delivering this unique and saliently important, school based drug prevention curriculum.”
Others partnering with the Attorney General’s Office are the West Virginia University Schools of Nursing and Pharmacy, along with Marshall University School of Nursing and Shepherd University’s Department of Nursing Education.
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 his 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.