Substance Abuse Task Force Gathers to Discuss Ideas to End Problem

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 The Northern Panhandle is situated in a very unique location, sandwiched between Pennsylvania and Ohio, making it easier for substance abuse addicts to get their fix.

On Wednesday, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin held another regional substance abuse task force meeting to discuss ways to deal with the drug problem.    

Parents, teachers, doctors and service providers got together to discuss ways to work, to put an end to the epidemic.

Joe Ghenne, with Advocates for Substance Abuse Prevention said, "we try every day to find some answer for this and that's why we're here. These people have some kind of knowledge and we want to share that."

Ghenne, and Bud Billiard, of the Hancock County Family Resource Network were just two of the dozens who attended the Region 1 Substance Abuse Task Force meeting to help develop strategies to address the drug problem in West Virginia.

The Governor's regional task force was initiated in 2011 to identify local needs, because not every region is the same. In the Northern Panhandle, it's making addicts aware of the services available to them not only in West Virginia, but also in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

"You may go to the grocery store, you may go clothes shopping across a border, but yet maybe for services, you're just not aware of what's here, so for me that's the uniqueness with this region," said Kathy Paxton, Director of Substance Abuse Services.

During the meeting, parents of a heroin addict who voiced their frustrations were able to get help when service providers sat down with them and offered suggestions.

The substance abuse task force meetings have been going on all over the state of West Virginia as a part of Governor Tomblin's initiative to combat the substance abuse problem in the state.


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