Prevention Coalition focused on student programs

By Brittany Hively - [email protected]

POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Prevention Coalition recently met virtually, hearing an update on the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) programs.

Greg Fowler gave a financial report and said the SADD checks for the month have been given to each of the high schools in the county.

Fowler said some business cards, water bottles, backpacks and tote bags will be purchased with the Coalition’s name on them.

Richard Sargent, Point Pleasant High School coordinator said the first SADD meeting was held with eight students in attendance, two being new to the program. He said the organization is working to raise awareness for suicide prevention in September.

“If everything works right, we’re going to do a life chain this month,” Sargent said. “By doing a life chain, we have a link, little chain like this with the paper links… We’re going to get every student in the school to make a link and then we put them all together. The idea is, every link in that chain is important, we want you to be there.”

Sargent said they hope to hang the chain in the commons area of the school. The organization is also working to raise awareness for Red Ribbon Week, a national drug-abuse prevention campaign, by ordering red ribbons to hand out to students, participating in the homecoming tailgate and potentially organizing other events. He asked for any appropriate literature that could be handed out during the week to students.

Hannan and Wahama High School SADD representatives were not in attendance. Hannan is currently looking for a new SADD coordinator, Ronie Wheeler, coalition coordinator said.

Wheeler said on the state level, the SADD chapter is changing to no longer having a state coordinator and moving to Youth Move. He said he will have more information at a later date.

One attendee said the organizations, SADD and Youth Move, were similar but Youth Move was a more positive name.

Wheeler said he attended the Quick Response Team (QRT) meeting for Mason County. QRT is a collaborative effort to help reduce the number of overdoses in a community and was first seen in Cabell County. They are currently working on collecting updated overdose data for the county.

“They are required to enter the overdose data and they’re working on an updated report because the state report and core data don’t correlate,” Wheeler said. “Hopefully they’ll get that worked out so that it will align better because it is a federal report that has to be done.”

Wheeler said door hangers, rack cards and business cards have been ordered. Those will be distributed across the community. He said anyone that would like to help hand those out are welcome.

Wheeler said Drug Takeback Day is Oct. 23 and with COVID-19 restrictions, he is unsure of what the county is doing.

The next meeting will be Oct. 19 at 4 p.m. following the Family Resource Network meeting.

© 2021, Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.

By Brittany Hively

[email protected]

Brittany Hively is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Follow her on Twitter @bhively1 or reach her at (740) 444-4303 ext 2555.

Brittany Hively is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Follow her on Twitter @bhively1 or reach her at (740) 444-4303 ext 2555.