We are never alone in drug fight

Drug use and addiction continues to be a plague sweeping our region.

With arrests, overdoses and death in the news almost every day, there is no longer any denying the impact of addiction on the Tri-State Area.

Our local police continuously step up to fight this scourge, but it also takes action from our everyday residents.

Recently, Never Alone WV held a “Caring Community” seminar, with the goal of spreading the message of the dangers of drug abuse and addiction in the Ohio Valley and beyond, and to better educate the area.

With presentations from local and federal law enforcement, health care officials, representatives of several treatment and support programs, and even testimonials from those who have been affected by drug abuse, it was an enlightening evening, and we are sure those in attendance came out of it wiser and more prepared.

Weirton Police Chief Rob Alexander, for example, stated that in 2016, there had been 25 overdose deaths in Brooke County, and 44 in Hancock County. He said those numbers already have been surpassed this year.

Representatives of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration discussed a pilot program, which has been in place in Pittsburgh, and now will operate in southern West Virginia, involving law enforcement, diversion programs and community outreach. It is this type of cooperative effort that has informally been tried locally, and is definitely in need.

The idea of “it takes a village” truly comes to mind when it comes to fighting addiction. We all can have a part to play, whether it is becoming better educated ourselves, not only on the types of drugs and their effects, but also signs of addictions. We must learn about the programs available in the region. If we suspect drug use is taking place, we must be willing to contact the proper authorities and alert them.

There is still hope if we are willing to stand up.