Substance abuse is being addressed on multiple fronts in West Virginia.
All efforts to cut into the problems associated with the abuse of drugs certainly demand attention.
A point of emphasis we hope gets special attention when dealing with young people is parental involvement.
Debbie Mann, substance abuse prevention coalition coordinator of the Family Resource Network (FRN), talked with the Times West Virginian this week about a new drug called molly that has made its way into tMarion County.
“The kids talk about it, and it’s advertised as a pure form of ecstacy,” Mann said. “It’s basically the main ingredient in ecstacy.”
She said there is a perception among young people that it’s a “safe” drug. That’s far from the truth. One reason the drug is so dangerous is because it raises a person’s body temperature and can lead to death from hyperthermia.
Mann knows just how important it is for parents to be involved in the fight against drugs.
As a part of her work with FRN, Mann travels to middle and high schools in the county, sits down with students during their lunch and talks with them about substance abuse, a program called Lunch and Learn.
Mann said she’s asked students how many of them have parents who talk to them about drugs and alcohol. She said it amazes her that only about 30 percent of students said their parents talk to them about the issue.
That’s obviously way, way too low a number, and it seems to come through a misperception on the part of the adults.
“I think some parents don’t want to put it in their kid’s mind, but their kids know already know about it. It’s in their music, movies and on the Internet,” Mann said. “It can happen to any family; there’s no demographic specific to drugs or alcohol.”
Mann said the best thing parents can do to prevent their child from doing drugs is to simply talk to them. She said research shows this is the number one thing that keeps kids from trying drugs, helps them say no to drugs and enables them to stand up to peer pressure.
“Parents need to open the discussion, bring it out and ask them if they have heard of molly or other drugs,” she said. “Talk to them about the risks.”
Meanwhile, a state task force says West Virginia should require prescriptions for cold medications that contain an ingredient — pseudoephedrine — used illegally to make methamphetamine.
Rite Aid’s West Virginia stores recently stopped selling cold medications that have pseudoephedrine as their only active ingredient.
The Governor’s Advisory Council on Substance Abuse also recommended that Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin oppose any legislation that would legalize marijuana for medical or recreational use, according to The Charleston Gazette.
Those issues are likely to come up for debate during the upcoming legislative session. Honest, open discussion is the way to set solid policy for the state.
It’s also called for in each and every family. If it’s not happening in about 70 percent of homes where young people are living, that’s just not acceptable.
Understand that help is available. For more information on how to talk to kids about drugs and alcohol, contact the Family Resource Network in Fairmont at 304-366-4445 or other sources of trust for your family.
Substance abuse is being addressed on multiple fronts in West Virginia.
Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely
The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.
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Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life
Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.
COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?
Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.
Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions
This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Soup Opera in need of your support again this time of year
It’s happening again.
It usually always happens about this time each year. Sometimes it’s a little earlier and sometimes a little later.
But Soup Opera executive director Shelia Tennant knows it will come — usually in July. And she’s never that surprised about it.
County honors men who gave all in helping their community
The next time you’re driving in the Rivesville area, you might notice new signs on two of the area’s bridges.
Those signs, which bear the names of Alex Angelino and Denzil O. Lockard, were unveiled Saturday in honor of the men whose names they display, two men who died while serving their communities.
The bridge on U.S. 19 over Paw Paw Creek was named to honor Lockard, while the bridge on U.S. 19 over Pharaoh Run Creek was named to honor Angelino. Lockard, a former Rivesville police chief, died in 1958 at the age of 48 while directing traffic. Angelino, a Rivesville firefighter, died at the age of 43 of a heart attack while fighting a fire in 1966.
State must learn to keep costs down and perform more efficiently on less
The West Virginia state government began its budget year last Tuesday with a small surplus of $40 million — less than 1 percent of its annual tax revenues — thanks only to dipping into its savings.
Let’s not do that again.
Long-range vision with transportation has been made to be thing of proud past
Last week’s closure of Fairmont’s Fourth Street Bridge is a symbol of a problem that must be fixed.
The United States should be proud of the vision its leaders once displayed to address the country’s transportation needs.
Back in 1954, for example, President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced his goal of an interstate highway system — something that transformed the country.
COLUMN: Who would leave animal in sweltering car?
I was standing and debating between two brands of a product in a big box store when I heard a call over the intercom:
“Will the owner of a green Cavalier with a dog inside please report to the lawn and garden center.”
I shook my head. I hate seeing dogs in cars waiting while their owners shop. About five minutes later, there was another announcement over the intercom.
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- Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely