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Presented in collaboration with WVU, MU, and the WVDE, will be held on September 17, 2019, at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, and September 18, 2019, at the Cam Henderson Center in Huntington. Times for both days will be from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.

The focus of the Opioid Awareness Summit is to provide universal prevention education to all students to empower them with knowledge to make healthy choices and have lifelong wellness. The summit will feature former NBA player, Chris Herren, who has recovered from an opioid use disorder. In addition, Rhonda Sciortino, a successful woman who grew up in an addictive and abusive home will share her story of resilience. The summit will also launch a student-based initiative called, “Game Changer,” which will encourage students to become leaders in their respective schools and communities in the fight against opioid misuse.

There is no cost to attend the summit however, each school is responsible for providing transportation, chaperones, and lunch.

Schools that participate in the summit, either in person or through livestream, are highly encouraged to include school counselors and school social workers as chaperones to monitor and support students during and after the event. Break rooms will be set up during the live event and staffed by mental health professionals to provide support for any student who may be emotionally impacted by the event’s message. Students should be given permission to opt out, should they not feel comfortable about attending.

Because research tells us that the best approach to prevention is building social and personal skills, focusing on healthy alternatives to substance use, and enhancing healthy relationships with adults and peers, schools should continue to provide follow-up services and prevention activities to students following the summit. A list of community resources that can help with substance abuse prevention and provide support for those affected by drug misuse will be sent to school districts, principals, and counselors prior to the event. For more resources, please visit the ReClaimWV website at https://wvde.us/reclaimwv/.

To register for the event, contact Cindy Daniel, WVSSAC at cindy.daniel@wvssac.org. For questions about the event, contact Cindy Daniel, WVSSAC at cindy.daniel@wvssac.org or Stephanie Hayes, WVDE at stephanie.hayes@k12.wv.us.