CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey will travel to north central West Virginia to continue a faith-based initiative aimed at empowering religious groups across West Virginia in the fight against substance abuse.
The Attorney General’s “Combating Addiction with Grace” program will roll into Fairmont for a conference next week. It follows a launch in Parkersburg and will continue with similar events elsewhere through next spring.
“The faith-based community plays an active role in fighting this epidemic on a local and regional level,” Morrisey said in a press release. “We must work together to make a change, and most importantly save the thousands of lives caught in addiction’s grasp.”
The goal will be to form an action plan and ideas of how to combat the drug epidemic in each community represented.
"We hope Attorney General Morrisey’s event provides pastors and religious leaders with the tools to see how they can make a difference in fighting the opioid crisis and its negative effects on families, communities and society," said Dean Brannen, pastor and ministry leader for Celebrate Recovery at South Ridge Church. "It will be a gathering of like-minded people and it is one step in the right direction."
The initiative will connect faith leaders with law enforcement, first responders, residential treatment and local substance abuse groups among others. Attendees also will receive resources to help those suffering from opioid abuse and addiction, while expanding their understanding of the statewide impact.
The Fairmont event takes place Aug. 8 at South Ridge Church, which is located at 1659 Fairmont Ave. It will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is limited space available, however those wishing to attend should contact Pam Krushansky at (304) 741-5834 or via email at Pamela.F.Krushansky@wvago.gov.
“Combating Addiction with Grace” continues the Attorney General’s holistic approach to reduce the supply and demand of prescription opioids, as well as an educational component to prevent future addiction.
This holistic approach 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.