‘Opioid Abuse Prevention Game of the Week’ initiative to start its 5th Year

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FILE – This Aug. 29, 2018, file photo shows an arrangement of prescription oxycodone pills in New York. U.S. health officials are again warning doctors against abandoning chronic pain patients by abruptly stopping their opioid prescriptions. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services instead urged doctors Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, to share such decisions with patients. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The “Opioid Abuse Prevention Game of the Week” initiative will be kicking off for its fifth year.

The statewide effort, led by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, is meant to engage student athletes, coaches, school officials and communities across West Virginia about the dangers of opioid use and to provide educational material on the subject.

Since its inception, the initiative has been to more than 210 high school football games across West Virginia. 

“Prevention remains key in tackling the devastation wrought by opioid abuse once and for all,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Each week this initiative provides yet another opportunity to present lifesaving information to communities across West Virginia. Without education, addiction can begin with treatment for the most routine of injuries, so it is crucial that we inform everyone – young and old – about the risks of prescription opioids in hopes that added awareness can make the difference in stopping senseless death.”

At the end of the week, the Attorney General’s Office will staff an information booth to distribute materials related to opioid abuse.

“This is an important collaboration between Attorney General Morrisey’s office and the WVSSAC (West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission) because opioid abuse and addiction continue to be prevalent in our communities,” said Bernie Dolan, executive director of the WVSSAC. “Bringing awareness to the problem is critical if we’re going to stop the destruction of lives stemming from opioid abuse, and the Game of the Week program is an excellent way to accomplish this.”

Caregivers are urged to discuss alternative treatments with their children’s healthcare provider. In the case where opioids prove necessary, caregivers are encouraged to use the medication as directed, closely monitor their child’s use, safely dispose of any unused pills and talk with their child about the dangers involved.

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