Wednesday, August 26, 2015

WV Day of Hope Gives Faith Organizations a Voice in Substance Abuse Prevention

Martha Polinsky, Project Coordinator, Lori Garrett-Bumba, Program Director, Bishop Dunkin and Bishop Bransfield proudly announce the DAY OF HOPE!
     The Ohio County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (OCSAPC) & the WV Council of Churches have collaborated to bring a “Prevention & Recovery Sunday” called “WV Day of Hope” to West Virginia churches and other ministries.  OCSAPC plan includes bringing the faith community to the "table" and encourages opportunities for policy change on a state-wide basis.  Faith organizations can shine a light on substance abuse prevention and recovery on a single designated day.  The group applied for and received a proclamation from WV Governor Earl Ray Tomblin.  This one day make a great impact on the lives of many.  Faith groups have the opportunity to help in the following ways:

Ø      Reinforcing Drug & Alcohol Free Youth
Ø      Providing Parent Tips
Ø      Empowering Folks in Recovery & Reducing the Stigma of Addiction 
Ø      Guiding Those Struggling with Substance Abuse
Ø      Supporting Families or Friends of Alcoholics & Addicts. 
Ø      Talking about Community Solutions
Ø      Healing for Children of Alcoholics/Addicts
Ø      Remembering Those Lost to Addiction
Ø      Creating Learning Opportunities
Ø      Finding Help and Resources

     The idea came about when community member Bill Hogan contacted OCSAPC's Project Coordinator.  Bill had been trying to reach bishops in WV and ask them for help with the substance abuse problem in our state.  As a result, OCSAPC added a faith-based component to their annual membership retreat and had state and local representation from Lutheran, Episcopal, Methodist, Catholic and nondenominational faiths.  Several state faith leaders joined local faith leaders to talk about what could be done about substance abuse in WV.  The plan for the “Day of Hope” began. The group agreed WV needed a designated day to unify the promotion of a drug free life-style with folks across the state.  This is a great opportunity to bring prevention strategies to a large receptive audience and to promote and support recovery.  Organizations are encouraged to remain true to their own traditions, beliefs and missions to organize and plan the event for their congregations. 

     In attendance at the faith-based meeting first meeting was Reverend Jeff Allen, Director of the WV Council of Churches and The Most Reverend Bishop Ralph W. Dunkin of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.  To propel the idea, Reverend Allen presented it to the council and they agreed to promote the day to all churches in WV.  They chose September 13, 2015 as the first official Day of Hope.  Each organization or churches are encouraged to add elements to their services to celebrate a substance free life-style.  OCSAPC has invited all state prevention coalitions to promote the “Day of Hope” in their counties to their local faith organizations.    

Monday, April 20, 2015

Wheeling Park High School SADD Students "Tie One On"

Red Ribbons 
SADD Club Members at Wheeling Park HS.  
 Wheeling, W Va. - Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), a club at Wheeling Park High School, is comprised of students who want to encourage a substance free lifestyle and decisions that will have positive outcomes for teens.  The group has a pre-prom campaign they will implement throughout their school.  The campaign is chosen because prom and graduation season can bring an increase in fatal car accidents for teens.   The campaign which takes place prior to prom includes:

Ø      Tie One On -  On April 15 SADD members placed red ribbons on student cars at Wheeling Park High School.  The ribbons, supplied by the local Mothers Against Drunk Driving MADD Chapter, are a reminder to students to make the decision to not drink alcohol on prom night and not to ride with someone who has. 
Ø      Please Return On Monday (PROM) posters & flyers, created by the students, to be placed within high school the week prior to prom.  Print material focus on safe decisions.  The tag line is “The problem with drinking is the mourning after.”
Ø      Please Return On Monday ribbons, purchased by the SADD Chapter, which will be distributed by local florists with all WPHS prom corsages and boutonnieres. 
Ø      School Announcements, written by the SADD members, will encourage youth to be alcohol free, not drink & drive, not ride with someone who has been drinking, not text & drive and wear seat belts.  Basically encouraging youth to make decisions which statistically give them a better chance to remain safe and could save lives.   

Ø      Radio Public Service Announcement – the group wrote and taped a radio PSA to be aired during the month of April promoting a substance free lifestyle.  
One of four posters created by the youth.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

OCSAPC Round Table Series

OCSAPC has been busy for the last 6 years building coalition capacity thereby creating more opportunities for change.  As a result of internal assessments the coalition decided to host a round table series dedicated to four important community sectors.  The round tables are focusing on Healthcare, Faith-Based, College and Business partners.  The discussions have led to numerous strategies and ideas to be implemented in our community.  Stay tuned for more information.  The next College Round Table is March 12 at Wheeling Jesuit from 5-7 PM.  The Business Round Table is March 26 at Christ United Methodist Church from 5-7 PM.  The Faith-Based Team will meet April 28 at 1:00 PM at 87 15th St. and the next Healthcare Team meeting will be announced.  

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Majority Rules!

OCSAPC summer youth interns and volunteers created our Majority Rules! campaign.   They wrote and produced 2 radio commercials, 1 television commercial and a billboard.  They used the fact that most local 16-17 year old teens do not use alcohol or marijuana.  Many folks, young and older, are under the misconception that more teens use substances than do not.  This is simply not true.  Substance users are in the minority.  Peer pressure may exist but this realization may help our young people make healthier choices for themselves.
Our summer youth were amazing.  The campaign culminated in a youth forum called Majority Rules!  It was held at Laughlin Chapel and was attended by many local youth.  Check them out on Facebook at ABOVE or Twitter at @majorityruleswv.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Positive Prevention Messages from Local Youth

The annual Choose a Clear Mind Poster contest conducted with Ohio County School 4th grade students showcases positive messages for April's Alcohol Awareness Month.  All 9 elementary schools participated in the contest with a winner from each school.  The top three winners's are featured on the billboards.  All 9 school winners receive a banner to hang in their school for the rest of the year, after which the winning students keep the banners.  After taking part in a prevention education program, the students create posters with a theme of showing positive activities they can do instead of wasting time on alcohol and drugs.  They can reach their hopes and dreams!  Top 3 billboard winners shown above.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Successful Community Forum Brings Out Leaders

The Cabinet to Street Forum held last week on November 21, 2013 from 6-8pm at WV Northern Community College was a resounding success to OCSAPC members.  The panel of community leaders was phenomenal; Russ Taylor of Miracles Happen noted we could never have brought together this panel even several years ago.  Our community may now be ready to take on more prevention strategies and work together.  The panel included U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld, Senate president Jeff Kessler, from County Schools, MaryLu Hutchins, Dr. Martin Olshinsky, Sheriff Bulter, Sgt. Don Miller, Dr. William Mercer, Howard Gamble, Commissioner Orphy Klempa, Mayor Andy McKenzie, Councilman Don Atkinson, Lance Gosseett, Brenda Danehart, Rev. Jeremiah Jasper, Russ Taylor, Jennifer Imer, Matt Grimard, John Shaw, and Melody Osborne.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Cabinet to Street Forum on November 21, 2013


Please come and help us create new or expand on current prescription drug abuse prevention strategies in Ohio County.  We have an amazing panel of community leaders ready to discuss what more we can do together.  November 21, 2013 from 6:00-8:00 pm at West Virginia Northern Community College in the B & O Building Auditorium.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Workforce Roundtable October 21

Top employers of Ohio, Marshall, Brooke, Hancock and Wetzel counties are invited to participate in re-establishing a dialogue about maintaining a drug free work place as part of the governor's plan to reduce substance abuse in West Virginia.  The governor is slated to attend.  

Monday, August 26, 2013

Bath Salts & Spice: Don't Roll the Dice

OCSAPC members have created a Bath Salts and Synthetic Marijuana awareness campaign for the month of September.  Look for our television and radio PSAs as well as our billboards and newspaper ads!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Cabinet to Street Youth Forum

Our Cabinet to Street Youth Forum was a great success thanks to our participating youth.  They planned the event including media, outreach, and activities.  Thanks for all your support!!


The Ohio County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (OCSAPC) is funded by a federal Drug Free Communities (DFC) Support Program Grant from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Youth Services System, Inc. (YSS) serves as the coalition's fiscal and administrative agent.