CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is starting a new faith-based initiative aimed at empowering religious groups across West Virginia in the fight against substance abuse.
Morrisey will kick off “Combatting Addiction with Grace” with a conference June 13 in Parkersburg. It will be the first of similar events that will continue through next spring.
“The faith-based community plays a big part in fighting this horrible epidemic,” Morrisey said June 7. “We must work together to see significant improvement, and most importantly save the thousands of lives caught in addiction’s grasp.”
The program aims to come up with ideas to combat the drug epidemic in each community. It will connect faith leaders, law enforcement, first responders, residential treatment and local substance abuse groups among others. Those who attend also will receive resources to help those dealing from opioid abuse and addiction, while expanding their understanding of the statewide impact.
“It is very encouraging to see the West Virginia Attorney General's Office reaching out to the faith based community for sharing of resources and ideas in an effort to help make a difference together,” said Joe Busch, pastor of congregational care at South Parkersburg Baptist Church. “While other state and local agencies provide crucial services to those lives impacted by addiction, it has always been The Church's Mission to reach out to the broken in spirit, to offer hope and a future, for only God can change the human heart."
The Parkersburg event takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 13 at South Parkersburg Baptist Church. Space is limited, but those wishing to attend are asked to contact Brooke Albright at (304) 777-9906 or via email at Brooke.E.Albright@wvago.gov.
“Combatting Addiction with Grace” continues the AG's office approach to reduce the supply and demand of prescription opioids, as well as an educational component to prevent future addiction. This includes criminal prosecutions, civil litigation, increased funding, multistate partnerships, new technology, awareness initiatives, drug incinerators and drop boxes to dispose of unwanted/expired prescriptions and the best practices toolkit endorsed by more than 25 national and state stakeholders.