CHARLESTON -– Mike Lacy, the West Virginia Supreme Court's Director of Probation Services, is a featured guest this month on "Prevention WV," a 30-minute interview-style television program broadcast on the West Virginia Library Commission's Library Television network.
Lacy is chairman of the West Virginia Partnership to Promote Community Well-Being, which was established by an executive order in 2004. The Partnership is appointed by the governor and commissioned to create a statewide substance abuse prevention and intervention system. The approximately two dozen members, representing government and community groups, gather and assess substance abuse consumption and consequence data, secure funds and recommend local grants.
"Substance abuse is clearly a pressing concern in both our state and our nation," Lacy says on the show. "Generally, national statistics place West Virginia higher than national rates for many categories of substance abuse, particularly the categories of tobacco use, cocaine use, and prescription drug abuse." Substance abuse also is linked to crime, chronic disease, and child abuse and neglect, Lacy said.
"Substance abuse-related issues cost West Virginians $1.86 billion a year, which is about $1,000 a year per West Virginian," Lacy said. That amount includes the costs to the criminal justice system, social service and mental health agencies, highway safety, other agencies and employers.
The Partnership is staffed by the West Virginia Prevention Resource Center and is funded by a portion of a federal grant from the U.S. Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. That five-year, $11 million grant was awarded in 2004. The Partnership has used that money to begin developing a statewide drug abuse prevention and intervention system.
The West Virginia Prevention Resource Center also is funded by federal grants.
"Prevention WV" is produced in conjunction with the West Virginia Prevention Resource Center and is hosted by the Center's Michele Burnside. The show featuring Lacy will be aired beginning Jan. 31 for eight weeks on the Library Television Network. It will appear on Suddenlink Channel 17 at 10:30 a.m., 4:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on Thursdays; at 4:30 a.m. on Fridays; and at 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays.
It will be on Adelphia Communications Channel 24 and Time Warner Cable Channel 18 twice a week and on Southern West Virginia Community College Channel 4 once a week.