BOONE COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – As the opioid epidemic continues to plague the mountain state and the nation, local officials and recovering addicts are trying a new approach to end the abuse – educate the youth.
On February 6th, 2019, a drug abuse summit was held at one Boone County school to help bring awareness to its students.
Organizers say the message local officials and recovering addicts deliver in their speeches is that there is hope out there for those struggling and for those who know someone batteling drug addiction.
They also said that addiction shouldn’t be a taboo topic and encourage the youth to keep the conversation going.
Principal of Sherman High School, Todd Barnette said, “today I’d like to thank the people that chose to fight for hope and to share the message that ‘yes if you’ve been affected by this, it’s a challenge, but there are many caring people who are willing to help you overcome it.'”
Today’s summit targetted children ages 11 through 18. The speeches fof those recovering left students inspired.
One Sherman High Senior, Brandie Wells said, “I think it’s just amazing for kids to be able to hear these stories, to know the resources that are in the area. So many people are affected by addiction that we might not even know about it, so I think it’s an amazing opportunity to just be able to see people that we may know in the community that have been affected by it in the community.”
Organizers plan to hold more summits alike state-wide, as the choices kids make in their adolescence will often times follow them for the rest of their lives.
“Kids don’t realize many times that one small decision after a football game, at a party, or at a friend’s house, a sleepover, can have lifetime consequences and today we wanted to make a difference by sharing that with them,” said Barnette.