New Substance Abuse Prevention Program Announced For Schools

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A pilot program to prevent drug abuse will begin at three West Virginia schools next fall, officials said.

Gov. Jim Justice and the board of West Virginia Game Changers, public-private coalition designed to educate and empower youth, announced Tuesday that the initiative will start at three schools in Harrison County, The Exponent Telegram reported.

“The program is the first of its kind and results from a service agreement between West Virginia Game Changers and the world-renowned Hazleton Betty Ford Foundation,” Justice said.

The program will take a new approach to substance abuse prevention, officials said.

“The Game Changers approach is a prevention programming that is different from ‘just say no’ campaigns and scare tactics because it harnesses real life skills known to be effective by keeping children and teens healthy, helping them choose not to use substances and to get help early if they need it,” said Desirae Vasquez, with Hazleton Betty Ford Foundation.

While the program will start in three schools, the goal is to eventually expand it into others said Dora Stutler, Harrison County Schools superintendent.