CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s expanded partnership with colleges in West Virginia brought students from Marshall University to Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School this to share drug abuse prevention information with eighth grade students.
The initiative, launched in March, involves Marshall University’s School of Nursing and two other universities.
“Marshall University continues to be a key player in meeting health care needs in our state,” Morrisey said. “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 coordinates events and provided Marshall University’s School of Nursing with a detailed curriculum, which then was presented by Marshall 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.
“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.”
“About one in four of our students from grades seven through 12 can name a friend or family member who has overdosed or died as a result of opioid overdose,” Patrick Leggett, school counselor at Point Pleasant Jr./Sr. High, said. “Opioids don’t discriminate, and the students see it but may think it won’t affect them. We are grateful Attorney General Morrisey’s Office is doing this program, since the drug epidemic is something people often don’t want to talk about.”
Others partnering with the Attorney General’s Office are the West Virginia University Schools of Nursing and Pharmacy and Shepherd University’s Department of Nursing Education. Additional partnerships could be announced at a later date.
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.
Submitted by the office of Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.