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Groups tackle substance abuse

PARKERSBURG — A recent meeting on the topic of substance abuse solutions has already sparked discussions and plans among community organizations.

Community members from various groups came together to discuss critical areas to be addressed regarding Substance Abuse Disorder.

Earlier this month, representatives from Marshall University came to West Virginia University at Parkersburg to present “City of Solutions,” which highlighted successful substance abuse programs in Huntington.

Funders for that presentation, Bob Boone from the Bernard McDonough Foundation, Marian Clowes from the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation, Stacy DiCicco from the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley and Renee Steffen from the Sisters Health Foundation came together to identify the issues regarding substance abuse in the area.

“We have identified three areas we believe are critical to our success in addressing Substance Abuse Disorder in our community and region, and in which we are prepared to lead and discuss activities,” Boone said in an email.

According to the funders, the three most crucial areas are community support, treatment network and prevention.

In terms of community support, the funders specifically mentioned transportation, sober living and stigma reduction.

Treatment network involves communication and discussions among treatment providers.

Prevention, according to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, refers to “helping people develop the knowledge, attitudes and skills they need to make good choices or change harmful behaviors.”

“Our funder group will continue to discuss the strategies that we will pursue in each of these areas for the remainder of this year and hope to announce our plans in (or) around January 2020,” Boone said.

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