The drug epidemic continues to plague our nation, and community; that’s why local groups joined together to ask the local faith communities to help.
The groups had one message to push: faith organizations have to get involved for the drug epidemic to be defeated in our area.
“We need every recovery program possible out here to combat the addiction that’s in West Virginia,” said Celebrate Recovery WV Northern Region State Rep., and panelists, Doug Spears. “We’re leading number one in the nation in drug overdose deaths, and that has to come down. Or we won’t have West Virginians anymore.”
This is why the Community Impact Coalition teamed up with the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley and the Upper Ohio Valley Ministerial Alliance to showcase the impact local churches can have on the issue.
Former natural resources police officer and DEA Taskforce member Dr. Barry Ball tells me a part of the problem is that there’s a fear from the churches of not knowing what to do to help.
“What the church can offer, and what has not happened, is relationships,” Ball said. “The church can say, “We’re with you.” We’re walking with you in your recovery, we’re walking with you as you watch your child go into substance abuse. The church can build relationships and build through this mess.”
The presentations were geared towards that message. There were speakers and panel discussion for people to learn about what addiction is, and how they can help. But it didn’t stop there, the groups ended with an immediate call to action.
“Give recovery a try,” said Spears. “I believe that you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain if you’re out there and you’re suffering from the disease that is addiction.”
Each group wants you to know it doesn’t matter how big or small you are, everything helps.
“We don’t have to save the world tomorrow. So, take a little step and keep your eyes up, and look at what God might be calling us too next.”
If you’d like to learn how you can become more involved with battling the drug addiction in our area you can contact the Community Impact Coalition by calling them at (304) 233-2045.