Local Leaders Seek Possible Solutions for Local Drug Trafficking and Crime
December 27, 2018Elkins, WV – On December 11 more than 40 professionals gathered for a roundtable discussion about substance abuse and its related challenges in the Elkins and Randolph County community. The group, the Randolph County Substance Abuse Coalition, will meet again on December 28th at noon in the Jury Room of the Randolph County Courthouse.
Individuals representing city government, healthcare, the court systems, first responders, law enforcement, education, children and youth advocacy groups, housing, mental health, and substance use treatment sat in a packed meeting room raising concerns related to the county’s substance use problem, and formulating a plan for community response.
“Designing a community-based strategy to deal with the problem of substance use and its related crime, and the need for more prevention and treatment options is the basis of creating this coalition,” said Melissa Kisner, a representative of Davis Medical Center and one of the roundtable organizers.
“I’m astounded and encouraged by the representation of professionals at our first meeting. We brought a lot of resources, a lot of stakeholders together around one table. I think we all feel that doing nothing about the problem just isn’t an option,” Kisner added.
The group made a list of community concerns which included a lack of mental health services, addressing social determinants of health, support for those with addiction, improving communication among stakeholder groups, care for children affected by the drug epidemic, the need for more youth and adult prevention outreach programs, and others.
Dr. Anne Banfield, MD, FACOG, is the director of Women’s HealthCare at Davis Medical Center. Banfield shared a presentation which overviewed DMC’s new Substance Use in Pregnancy program which is a Medically Assisted
Treatment (MAT) program for pregnant women battling substance addiction. She also discussed three strategies for addressing substance use: the public health strategy, the public safety strategy, and an integrated strategy which brings together elements of both.
“There are many possibilities but to achieve them will take cooperation from all facets of the community,” said Banfield.
The Coalition developed a Facebook group, Substance Abuse Coalition, and will meet on Friday, December 28, at noon in the Jury Room of the Randolph County Courthouse. At that time the group will begin to outline steps for 2019 and explore grant funding opportunities.
Persons interested in the Randolph County Substance Abuse Coalition are encouraged to contact Kisner at 304.637.3477 or Rebecca Brenwalt, LSW, at 304.637.3948.