WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. (WTRF) – Some of West Virginia’s most prominent natives in the athletic world are heading back to the Mountain State this week, but it’s why they’re here that should cause more attention.
They will be at The Greenbrier for the first Game Changer Golf Classic and Prevention and Education Luncheon. The two-day event will continue to expand the West Virginia Game Changer program, which educates and supports students to make healthy choices that steer them away from opioid use.
It is bad. It’s a very touch situation and we have some of the best experts in the world working on it. West Virginia is ground zero. People around the country are looking at what we’re doing in West Virginia.Joe Boczek, Executive Director WV Game Changer
The program’s Executive Director Joe Boczek said COVID-19 only made the problem worse. He added substance abuse is increasing and so is teen suicide. Boczek feels now is the time to really push to address our youth.
Moms and Dads can no longer be putting their kids in the ground. That’s just awful for a parent. Kids can’t be coming home to moms that are withdrawn from opioids and instead of baking cookies are being banished to their room or yelled at or screamed at and living in an environment that is sad. No child deserves to be sad and if we have anything to do with it we are going to change the game and that sadness will turn to elation.Joe Boczek, Executive Director WV Game Changer
In addition to featuring athletes, government officials and the Mountain State’s business, this Game Changer event is also welcoming some of the top experts in addition treatment from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.
The list of celebrities includes special guest Alabama head football coach Nick Saban and his wife, Terry who will host the event. Governor Jim Justice and Senator Joe Manchin will also attend and speak at the welcome dinner on Wednesday evening.
It’s promising to be one fabulous event that’s not only going to showcase Game Changers and what our ultimate cause is and that’s opioid substance misuse prevention, but it’s going to showcase the state of West Virginia as being a leader in this.Joe Boczek, Executive Director WV Game Changer
To learn more about the program, and how you could get involved, visit wvgamechanger.com.