By Jonathan Williams
Times West Virginian
Many agencies in Marion County are centered around the family.
As the basic building block of society, healthy families make healthy communities.
The Family Resource Network, a United Way of Marion County member agency, provides a number of programs to bolster the families of Marion County by fighting substance abuse, child neglect and abuse, and creating healthy events and services for young people.
“The impact of the programs is very significant,” said executive director Lauren Prinzo, “especially starting at such a young age.”
The mission, she said, is to facilitate prevention of major problems.
“Basically, we’re trying to intervene before there’s a problem,” she said.
The FRN has a lot of ways it does this. The program is the sponsor of the Marion County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, a program that works with local law enforcement and businesses to combat drug and alcohol abuse among young people.
Twice a year, the coalition organizes, with the help of the Fairmont Police Department and local pharmacies, a Drug Takeback Day for people to drop off their unused and expired prescription drugs.
Debbie Mann, the program coordinator and staff at the FRN, says prescription drug abuse is a huge problem in West Virginia. The takeback days have consistently removed hundreds of pounds of prescription pills.
The coalition also sponsors compliance checks to ensure that alcohol is not being sold to minors at local grocery and convenience stores.
Prinzo said the program has been going since 2009 and has had a lot of success.
Preventing child abuse is trickier.