The Times West Virginian

Local News

June 18, 2014

‘Balance concern with hope’ in battle against substance abuse

CLARKSBURG — “What I want you to focus on are the solutions,” Kathy Paxton said.

Paxton, director of Substance Abuse Services of the State of West Virginia, told participants at the Governor’s Substance Abuse Regional Task Force Region 4 meeting on Tuesday to talk with one another about solutions to treating, preventing and using recovery methods surrounding substance abuse in the state.

“Balance concern with hope,” she told participants.

Participants in the meeting came from 13 counties in Region 4, including Monongalia, Preston, Marion, Doddridge, Harrison, Taylor, Barbour, Tucker, Gilmer, Lewis, Upshur, Randolph and Braxton. The meeting was a part of round 13 of the task force meetings throughout the state.

“The state is divided into six regions, and we’ve traveled to each of the regions 13 times since 2012,” Paxton said.

Having these meeting allows those in the community, whether they are residents, educators, doctors or someone who works with those battling substance abuse, come together and work toward fighting against the problem.

At these meetings, participants voice their concerns, solutions and plans on how to prevent and treat substance abuse. Paxton said she will then take the concerns, solutions and plans of these participants and pass them along to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s advisory council.

“It’s resulted in some pretty significant substance abuse legislation and additional funding for treatment,” she said.

Paxton said there are different issues surrounding substance abuse in every region and county. Having these meetings in each region helps identify the problems.

“The resources and the gaps that you have are different than in another region,” she said. “Not only does it identify those needs but really addresses what you have and don’t have in this region.”

These meetings also bring people together where they can share their methods with one another.

During the meeting, the participants were separated into groups where they identified a goal and described whether it was a perception or reality. They also were able to talk with one another about the problems they are seeing in their counties.

Travis Zimmerman, with the Marion County Adult Drug Court, said attending these meetings has helped with networking and finding solutions and services that can help better Marion County’s fight against substance abuse.

“We network really well with the state, public entities and private entities here,” he said.

Providing services to treat, prevent and help those recovering from substance abuse is something Zimmerman found that not all counties are able to do. He said there is a difference between rural and urban counties and the services they provide for substance abusers.

Zimmerman said in some counties services to treat individuals dealing with substance abuse just don’t exist, and in other counties there’s an abundance of services.

“It’s always something we worry about when we’re talking about implementing a service,” he said. “It’s easy to implement some of these services in the urban counties, but it’s so difficult in some of these rural counties.”

Along with Zimmerman, Paxton said providing services for substance abusers is key, and it needs to happen in the state. She said there’s a problem of navigating substance abusers to the services provided in West Virginia.

“We have more parents that put their kids in out-of-state places then the State of West Virginia does,” Paxton said.

Paxton said there has been a decrease in prescription medication abuse in West Virginia, but she has seen an increase in other drug abuse such as heroin.

“If you make things not available or accessible, often folks will jump to another substance,” she said. “We have to do a good job in doing this work.”

The Governor’s Substance Abuse Regional Task Force meetings will continue this week in Region 5 in Huntington and Region 6 in Beckley.

Email Emily Gallagher at or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.

Text Only
Local News
  • Purple Heart Memorial fundraising continues

     Despite three years of fundraising, a memorial remains unfinished.
    The Purple Heart Memorial was planned three years ago. It is part of the Vietnam Memorial at the Wave Tec Park and was planned to honor all of those who were wounded or killed in action in any war.
    Danny Greene has been working to complete the memorial since the project began. He is a member of the local Purple Heart Chapter.

    July 28, 2014

  • End of Fairview water project on tap

    Officials say the Fairview water line extension project is on track to meet the goal of making water available to all new customers by the end of this week.
    Fairview Mayor Arley Simmons said workers have recently been busy pulling samples and flushing the lines in order to get new customers hooked up for water service.
    “It should have been done a year ago,” he said of the project.
    However, the end of the endeavor is now nearing completion. The hope has been to have everybody on line before this month is over, Simmons said.

    July 28, 2014

  • Barbara Yanero.jpg Like a Springsteen song

     Barbara Yanero grew up in Monongah, on Shaver Street. The street has a long history. For quite some time, Polish and Italian immigrants lived on that street.
    Yanero’s family started living there with her great-grandparents, who moved there around 1927. Later, her great-grandfather made a house for her grandmother and grandfather out of a barn that was already on the property.
    “He was an amazing human being,” Yanero said. “And my mom and dad ended up living there as well, and now me.”
    In Monongah, the neighbors formed a tight-knit group.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local water project nearing completion

    Officials say the Fairview water line extension project is on track to meet the goal of making water available to all new customers by the end of this week.

    July 27, 2014

  • Fundraising continues for local military memorial

    Despite three years of fundraising, Marion County's Purple Heart Memorial remains unfinished.

    July 27, 2014

  • Therapy Riding 1 SS - CB.jpg Horses at On Eagles’ Wings help change lives for better: VIDEO AND PHOTOS

    Out at the end of a long gravel drive off Opekiska Ridge Road, nestled under the shade of the forest and the sun of the West Virginia hills, rests the green and gold pastures of On Eagles’ Wings Therapeutic Horsemanship Center.
    There are horses there — whinnying out of their stall windows, munching in the paddock and, most importantly, helping people with disabilities gain strength and independence in the riding ring.

    July 27, 2014 9 Photos

  • Capito maintains edge in fundraising

    Republican candidate Shelley Moore Capito still leads Democratic candidate Natalie Tennant in fundraising efforts for election to the U.S. Senate seat.
    Current U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s announced his intention to retire from the Senate in January 2013.
    Capito announced her intention to run for the seat in November 2012, giving her an early start in raising campaign funds. Tennant, currently West Virginia secretary of state, announced her campaign 10 months later, in September 2013.

    July 27, 2014

  • Completion of Korean War Memorial being pushed

    The Korean War Memorial will begin the process of reorganizing and begin to move towards completion faster.
    Marion County Development Office director Charlie Reese was asked by the Marion County Commission to provide a recommendation on how to complete the memorial. Last Wednesday, Reese presented his recommendation during the commission meeting.

    July 27, 2014

  • CRAFTS -TS.jpg Donors thanked at Christmas in July: PHOTOS

    Guests got into the Christmas spirit Saturday at the Marion County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
    The Rotary Club of South Fairmont and the Marion County CVB held a Christmas in July open house at the CVB location on the Gateway Connector to thank donors who have supported the upcoming Celebration of Lights and to sell more displays.

    July 27, 2014 6 Photos

  • Fire destroys old Rusty Spur

    A fire destroyed the old Rusty Spur in Monongah Friday night.
    The Monongah Volunteer Fire Department was among emergency units which responded to the call, which came at 9:08 p.m.

    July 27, 2014

Featured Ads
TWV Video Highlights
NDN Editor's Picks
House Ads