CHARLESTON—West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s partnership with colleges in West Virginia will bring students from Potomac State University to two middle schools in Mineral County on Thursday, March 7, to share drug abuse prevention information with eighth grade students.
The presentations will take place at Frankfort Middle School in Ridgeley and Keyser Middle School in Keyser. The initiative, launched in March 2017, has partnered with Potomac State’s Department of Nursing and several other universities.
“Potomac State continues to be a key player in meeting health care needs in our state,” Morrisey said. “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 provides Potomac State’s Department of Nursing with a detailed curriculum, which then is presented by Potomac State 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.
“Educating students at an early age about drug abuse and how it affects not only the individual, but families and communities, is key to eradicating it from our state,” said Tara Hulsey, PhD, vice president of Health Promotion and Wellness for WVU and dean of the WVU School of Nursing, which oversees the Potomac State program. “Our nursing students are helping to inform teenagers on how to make the right lifestyle choices. It is our hope our nursing students make a lasting, positive impression on each student they meet, which in turn, will benefit the communities we serve.“
Others that have partnered with the Attorney General’s Office are the West Virginia University Schools of Nursing and Pharmacy, along with Marshall University School of Nursing, Shepherd University Department of Nursing Education, West Virginia University Institute of Technology’s Department of Nursing and Concord University Department of Health, Physical Education and Athletic Training.
The collaboration with each university represents one initiative through which the Attorney General has sought to combat West Virginia’s drug overdose death rate. It follows his widely successful Kids Kick Opioids public service announcement contest, also targeted at raising drug prevention awareness with elementary and middle school students.
Other initiatives include criminal prosecutions, civil litigation, sweeping changes to drug policy, multistate partnerships, new technology, awareness initiatives, engagement with the faith-based community and a best practices toolkit endorsed by more than 25 national and state stakeholders.