Morrisey takes faith-based program to fight opioids to Northern Panhandle

By Chris Dickerson | Sep 8, 2017

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's faith-based initiative aimed at empowering religious groups across the Mountain State in the fight against substance abuse will travel to the Northern Panhandle next week.

The “Combating Addiction with Grace” program will roll into Wheeling for a conference Sept. 14 on the campus of Wheeling Jesuit University. It follows conferences already held in Parkersburg and Fairmont 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. “Changing the cycle of addiction by empowering communities is a step toward a brighter future for West Virginia.”

The goal will be to form an action plan and ideas of how to combat the drug epidemic in each community represented.

“The Appalachian Institute at Wheeling Jesuit University is pleased to host Attorney General Morrisey’s Combating Addiction with Grace conference,” said Dr. Mary Railing, interim director of the Appalachian Institute and associate professor of chemistry at Wheeling Jesuit. “As a community which works to connect faith based organizations, non-profit entities, and government leaders to address problems that our community faces, we are looking forward to this event which will equip the community with tools to combat addiction.”

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 Wheeling event takes place Sept. 14 at Wheeling Jesuit's Troy Theater,316 Washington Ave. Troy Theater is located inside Swint Hall on campus. It will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with registration beginning at 9:30 a.m. There is limited space available, however those wishing to attend should contact Amy Nickerson at 304-543-8457or via email at

“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.

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