Morrisey speaks in Wellsburg

Morrisey

WELLSBURG — Attorney General Patrick Morrisey made a visit to Brooke County on Monday to visit with members of a newly founded group.

Brooke County Faith Team held its monthly meeting Monday to discuss local substance abuse and recovery programs.

One of the obstacles the group said recovering addicts face is lack of resources.

“If lucky they may find a facility for 30 days and receive a follow-up call,” said member Christina White. “Then they are just back in the world and it’s just especially hard for those who were addicts for five to six years.”

White did add that as the Brooke County 911 deputy she has seen the number of overdoses decrease.

Morrisey attributed the decrease to a recent lawsuit against drug makers to lower the amount of pharmaceuticals that are being manufactured globally.

Bethany Goddard of the prevention department at Youth Services System suggested a lack of programs is playing a role in the county’s drug problem.

“To be effective we need to have opportunities for the kids to make better choices,” said Goddard. “Resources also need to be made for families of the abuser because they aren’t the only ones who suffer.”

The Rev. Phil Van Dam of St. Thomas Episcopal Church said local culture gets in the way of progress.

“If an idea comes up that’s a little off the wall people around here go, “Oh, that will never work,” and just shut it down,” said Van Dam.

Morrisey said the people at the meeting on Monday can change that.

“This is a great group of people who can have a positive influence,” noted Morrisey.

Morrisey added that enforcement, education and treatment are needed to end the war on drugs.

“Enforcement is important to change behavior,” said Morrisey. “We need laws to encourage people to prescribe less opioids. We also need to deeply push education. We are contacting schools of nursing, pharmacy and elementary to make sure we are in front of the right people to be persuasive.”

Morrisey noted that behavior facilities will play an intricate role for quite a lot of people.

“Treatment can come in so many different forms,” said Morrisey. “Make sure people get healing in both the heart and head.”

(Linder can be contacted at tlinder@heraldstaronline.com)

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