To reduce substance abuse in our State, we must attack the problem from multiple fronts. Prevention and education is critical to winning the battle. In our office, we are strengthening our prevention and youth education efforts.
In June 2016, the Office launched a series of public service announcements to promote better understanding of the opioid epidemic and encourage West Virginia consumers to explore non-opioid alternatives to pain therapy.
A partnership with the West Virginia Board of Medicine and the West Virginia Board of Osteopathic Medicine.
This initiative depicts prescription opioid abuse as a killer loose in West Virginia that was responsible for nearly 20,000 deaths nationwide in 2014.
The initiative covers several key points, such as the fact many patients don’t realize they have been prescribed an opioid painkiller. It also touches those who don’t understand the risk involved with opioid pain management, including the potential of addiction, overdose and death.
The public service announcements encourage patients to seek alternative pain therapy and ask their prescriber three questions – “Am I being prescribed opioids?” “Is there an alternative treatment?” “If not, is there a lower effective dosage?”
The West Virginia Attorney General’s Office has a dedicated consumer protection representative to travel the state as a substance abuse education advocate. Our staff delivers drug presentations to middle school health classes, clubs, civic groups, afterschool programs, and senior adult organizations to get the message out about the perils of substance abuse.
So far, our substance abuse education advocate has made 76 presentations in 19 counties. We aim to touch the lives of countless West Virginians, and we are accelerating these presentations in 2016. If you would like to schedule a presentation for a group, please call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1 (800) 368-8808 or Rita McCrobie at (304) 288-9575.
Our office has seven consumer field representatives that host monthly Mobile Office Hours throughout the state. The consumer field representatives play a key role in distributing information to consumers. The consumer representatives have materials created by our office that provides valuable information as to the proper storage and disposal of prescription medication. View the information by clicking here.
Additionally, consumer representatives distribute materials containing treatment information for each county as well as educational booklets for heroin and painkillers. If you would like more information regarding our educational materials, please call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1 (800) 368-8808.
Representatives from our office assist in various law enforcement presentations. These representatives have specialized knowledge regarding substance abuse, criminal law, and law enforcement activities. We present on a variety of topics including the heroin and prescription drug abuse epidemic, methamphetamine, and current laws and regulations affecting law enforcement.
If you would like to schedule a presentation for your next training, please call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-368-8808.