Untitled Document
Congressman Nick Rahall Proudly Representing the 3rd District of West Virginia
August 11, 2014
Contact: Diane Luensmann
(202) 225-3452

Rahall to Assemble Federal Officials in W.Va. to Tackle Substance Abuse

***Community Forum set for Wednesday, August 13, in Beaver***

BECKLEY, W.Va. –U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), Co-Chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse, Monday announced he is bringing Federal drug control officials to the region this week to meet with local health professionals and anti-drug coalitions, and is hosting a community forum on substance abuse and addiction in the Beckley area on Wednesday evening.

“We have made some headway on the law enforcement side of this problem, but we also need to be looking at the public health and treatment side of drug abuse and addiction. To fortify our efforts, I have invited a panel of Federal officials with expertise in health care, drug abuse, and law enforcement so that they can get a first-hand look at our region’s capabilities and needs in fighting this scourge,” said Rahall.

The community forum, which is free and open to the public, will be held on Wednesday, August 13, from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., at the Erma Byrd Center of Higher Education in Beaver. The forum will include: Mr. Mike Botticelli, Acting Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP); Dr. Daniel Sosin, Acting Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; Dr. Nora Volkow, Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA); Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, Chief Medical Officer, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA); Mr. Christopher Traver, Senior Policy Advisor, Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Dept. of Justice; and Mr. Booth Goodwin, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia.

The following day, Thursday, August 14, Rahall and Federal officials will visit two substance abuse treatment facilities – the Southern Highlands Community Mental Health Center, in Welch; and the FMRS Turning Point Center, in Beckley – and meet with the Wyoming County Chapter of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and Family Resource Network, in Pineville.

“The community forum and meetings are an opportunity for West Virginians to be heard. Parents and children, as well as local leaders, have a huge stake in this fight. We need to paint as clear a picture as possible of what we continue to combat, not only on our streets and communities, but in our homes and businesses. It is also a chance to hear firsthand from key federal decision makers about the resources they can make available as full partners in our battle,” said Rahall.

Rahall has been active and vocal in promoting legislation to increase the Federal resources available for mental health and substance abuse treatment in the region, as well as for anti-drug coalitions in increasing drug abuse awareness and prevention.

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