CHARLESTON – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s partnership with colleges in West Virginia brought students from Marshall University to Barboursville Middle School on Friday, Nov. 17, to share drug abuse prevention information with eighth-grade students, according to a news release. The initiative, launched in March, involves Marshall University’s School of Nursing and two other universities. It followed similar visits throughout Cabell, Putnam and Wayne counties.
“Marshall University continues to be a key player in meeting health care needs in our state,” West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said in the news release. “Working together to educate students about the dangers of prescription drug abuse will lead to a brighter future for West Virginia.”
The Attorney General’s Office coordinates events and provided Marshall University’s School of Nursing with a detailed curriculum, which then was presented by Marshall students.
The curriculum covers multiple aspects of the opioid epidemic, including the connection between prescription drug abuse and heroin addiction, prevention and the long-term impact of drug use.
“Through our collaboration with the West Virginia Attorney General, Marshall’s School of Nursing will help to educate students on understanding the opioid epidemic and the dangers of prescription drug misuse and abuse,” Tammy Minor, assistant professor for Marshall’s School of Nursing, said in the release. “We know health care providers must partner with other community health and state agencies to educate the public about misuse and abuse of prescription drugs, namely opioids. We are proud of Marshall’s student nurses and their efforts to implement a preventive program to target school age children and educate them on the dangers of drug abuse.”
Others partnering with the Attorney General’s Office are the West Virginia University Schools of Nursing and Pharmacy and Shepherd University’s Department of Nursing Education. Additional partnerships could be announced at a later date.
The collaboration with each university represents one initiative through which Morrisey’s office has sought to combat West Virginia’s drug overdose death rate. It follows last fall’s Kids Kick Opioids public service announcement contest, also targeted at raising drug prevention awareness with elementary and middle school students.
Other efforts include criminal prosecutions, civil litigation, multi-state initiatives, new technology, engagement with the faith-based community and a best practices toolkit endorsed by more than 25 national and state stakeholders.