Opioid initiative returns for third year

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced his office will kick off its “Opioid Abuse Prevention Game of the Week” initiative for a third consecutive year.

The effort has engaged with teams and communities at more than 100 high school football games across the state since its inception, working with student athletes, coaches, school officials and communities.

Field representatives discuss the dangers of opioid use and provide educational material for display and distribution in the schools to foster more discussion of the issue.

The week culminates with the Attorney General’s Office staffing an information booth at each of the select sporting events to distribute opioid abuse awareness materials.

This year’s program kicks off this week, with featured games to include Weir versus Oak Glen. Other games will be Man versus Logan, Midland Trail versus Independence, Wayne versus Spring Valley, Hundred versus Clay-Battelle and Washington versus Hedgesville.

“The opioid epidemic has changed the way West Virginia’s youth grow up, in some cases contributing to chaotic home lives and leaving children without parents,” Morrisey said. “We cannot and will not sit idly by and allow this crisis to further impact our people. We can secure a better future for everyone by raising awareness and sharing crucial information about the negative impact of drug abuse.”

The initiative is part of a broader partnership to tackle opioid use in high school athletics. It involves the Attorney General’s Office, West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission and the West Virginia Board of Medicine.

“Drug abuse has a crippling effect in communities across our state,” said Bernie Dolan, executive director of the WVSSAC. “The WVSSAC is proud to be a partner with the Attorney General’s Office to continually combat drug abuse throughout the state. Participation in extra-curricular activities is a great way to stay drug free.”


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