WVSSAC announces collaborative effort to fight opioid crisis

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WOWK) – The West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission is working side-by side-with West Virginia University, Marshall University, The West Virginia Department of Education and the Office of Governor Jim Justice in the fight against the opioid epidemic.

“I think today what we wanted to show is it is a united front of all the educational communities in West Virginia, and we all want to attack the addiction problem with opioids…students at the schools are going to know what resources they have if they are involved in a family that faces addiction,” says Bernie Dolan, executive director of the WVSSAC. 

The program starts with two summits held at both Marshall University and West Virginia University in September, but that is just the kickoff for a much bigger initiative that will offer opportunities for student-athletes and the universities to come together and take this idea into the end-zone with a campaign titled “Be a Game Changer”.

“It’s a great way to connect the universities to solve a problem in our youth,” says Marshal University President, Jerome Gilbert.

“We don’t have professional teams, we have us so, therefore, we are going to build that comradery through inspiration,” says WVU President E. Gordon Gee.

Both universities have been called on to provide scholarship opportunities for those who have become clean and sober and desire to better themselves through education, but key players in the initiative have so many more ideas for the future.

“I’m imagining beating this thing, I’m imagining greatly reducing the amount of opioid addiction,” adds Joe Boczek with J.B. Business Strategies. 

You can view the early stages of the initiative here.

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