CHARLESTON — Attorney General Patrick Morrisey will travel to the Eastern Panhandle to continue a faith-based initiative aimed at empowering religious groups across the Mountain State in the fight against substance abuse.

The Attorney General’s “Combating Addiction with Grace” program will roll into Martinsburg for a conference Oct. 12 at Independent Bible Church, which is located at 2306 Hedgesville Road. It will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with registration beginning at 9:30 a.m. It follows conferences already held in Parkersburg, Fairmont and Wheeling, and will continue with similar events elsewhere through next spring.

“The faith-based community plays a big part in fighting this horrible epidemic,” Morrisey said. “We must work together to see significant improvement, 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 have been praying about our involvement in the problem that we’re seeing in our city with the drugs and not just the drugs and their effect on the addict, but on the entire family," said Tom Turley, executive pastor of Independent Bible Church. "We’ve been praying about how we can help, so when Attorney General Morrisey’s office approached us, we were honored and grateful to be considered for that. 

“We think everybody is aware of the problem, but what we want is to show that we are a part of the solution. We want the community to see that we aren’t just concerned, we are doing something about it.”

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.

This holistic approach includes criminal prosecutions, civil litigation, major change of drug policies, 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.

This event is open to the public, however those wishing to attend should RSVP to Kanette Petry at 304-261-0042 or by email at Kanette.L.Petry@wvago.gov.

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