Dear Faith Leader, Participating WV County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalitions: Day of Hope Partners:

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1 Ohio County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition 87 Fifteenth St Wheeling WV STOP Coalition Gilbert WV Putman Wellness Coalition Poca WV Partnership of African American Churches Institute WV Morgan County Partnership Berkeley Springs WV Kanawha Communities That Care Charleston WV iii ii i Trust for America s Health at The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation at Trust for America s Health at iv 2013 West Virginia Behavioral Health Epidemiological Profile, p.104 v CDC Vital Signs at vi vii CDC Injury Prevention and Control: Prescription Drug Overdose viii ix CDC Alcohol and Public Health at x xi Providence Journal PolitiFact Rhode Island at xii xiii Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at NSDUH/2k11results/nsduhresults2011.htm#Fig2-14 Jackson County Anti-Drug Coalition Ripley WV Community Connections Inc. Princeton WV Cabell County Substance Abuse Prevention Partnership Huntington WV Advocates for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) Weirton WV Participating WV County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalitions: West Virginia Council of Churches 2207 Washington St. E Charleston WV Day of Hope Partners: 2207 Washington St E, Charleston, WV Dear Faith Leader, Welcome to the Day of Hope initiative, which is sweeping across West Virginia! A new hope for the devastation caused by substance abuse has taken hold. The West Virginia Council of Churches and the Ohio County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition have partnered together with the goal of making a positive impact on substance abuse within our communities. The good news is that substance abuse prevention strategies can be promoted in faith communities and individual congregations. By declaration of the West Virginia Council of Churches and by proclamation of West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, September 13, 2015 has been named a Day of Hope for the people of West Virginia. The initiative is meant to continue long after the day of celebration and offers faith communities opportunities to promote a drug free lifestyle to its members and the community at large. West Virginia has seen a staggering impact from substance abuse. Trust for America s Health reports that not only was West Virginia number one in drug overdose deaths in 2010, many of those deaths were related to prescription drugs. Heroin has also become a major problem in West Virginia. The DEA s National Heroin Threat Assessment Summary states that heroin use in the 1990s and 2000s spread to users in suburban and rural areas, more affluent users, younger users, and users of a wider range of races (p. 7). With the need being overwhelming and faith communities and local communities looking for answers, we believe that it will take congregations and communities working together to end this epidemic. The Day of Hope is our first step to solving this problem.

2 The Challenge In West Virginia: In 2010, more people died in West Virginia from drug overdoses than any other state in the nation. Many of those deaths were from prescription drugs. i In 2014, West Virginia had the highest number of prescriptions per capita of all US states. It had an average of 21.4 prescriptions for each man, woman, and child in the state. The national average was 12.7 per capita. ii More people die in West Virginia from drug overdoses than from car-related accidents. iii West Virginia s hepatitis B and C cases rose between 2007 and 2012, with acute hepatitis C cases per 100,000 people tripling in that same time period. iv According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC): A person is 40 times more likely to be a heroin addict if they are addicted to opiate pain killers. v Prescription drug addiction is the biggest risk factor for heroin addiction. vi Although Americans are not reporting any change in their level of pain, painkiller prescriptions in the United States are four times as high in 2013 as they were in vii More than 16,000 people died from prescription painkillers in 2013, four times as many as died in viii Drugs and Youth: Youth who drink alcohol before the age of 15 are more likely to engage in substance abuse. ix 1 in 6 youth marijuana users will become addicted. x Marijuana is much stronger than it was in previous decades. xi The increase in marijuana related emergency room visits may be connected to this increase in THC levels. xii According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), most people over 12 years of age who abused prescription painkillers acquired them free from a friend or relative. xiii Resources on the WEB WV Substance Abuse and Mental Health Directory, an interactive map of resources by county: Prescription Drug Abuse Hotline: WV-QUITT or text RxAbuseHelp to Narcotics Anonymous Meetings: x771 Center for Substance Abuse Prevention: Above the Influence: Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America: Partnership for Drug Free Kids: WV Day of Hope Facebook page Ohio County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition: West Virginia Council of Churches: Alcohol Anonymous Meetings: or hour hotline Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) WV:

3 Ideas for worship on the Day of Hope Prayers to support substance free youth and to encourage those struggling with addiction. Candle Light Services and Vigils to inspire hope and to remember those lost to addiction and their families and friends. Recovery Speakers to reach those who may be in need of help or support. Youth members to reach other youth and encourage staying substance free. Raise awareness within your organizations about substance abuse in the community. Bell Ringing throughout the faith community at a designated time. Make resources available to your congregation and outreach ministries. Sermons discussing the stigma of addiction and encourage understanding and healing. Incorporate prevention messages in all your activities. Post your stories, events, and pictures on the Day of Hope Facebook page, WV Day of Hope and/or Tweet your experiences at #WVDayofHope. Beyond the Day of Hope Get Trained in Screening Brief Intervention & Referral to Treatment (SBIRT), Peer Recovery Coach Training or Mental Health First Aid (Training dates to be announced). Host community presentations or forums on prevention strategies Encourage youth groups to create a media campaign within the church or within the community to promote substance free life-style. Make your house of worship a welcome environment to those seeking a substance free life-style and those struggling with addiction. Use language that reduces the stigma of addiction. Contact & work with your local county substance abuse prevention coalition. Provide pamphlets and information for your congregations. Refer those in need to available services. Raise money for local prevention, treatment, or recovery organizations. Support and advocate for legislation that support a drug-free state. Sign up for information, announcements, and events at

4 Day of Hope Partners: West Virginia Council of Churches 2207 Washington St. E Charleston WV Ohio County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition 87 Fifteenth St Wheeling WV Participating WV County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalitions: Advocates for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) Weirton WV Kanawha Communities That Care Charleston WV Cabell County Substance Abuse Prevention Partnership Huntington WV Community Connections Inc. Princeton WV Jackson County Anti-Drug Coalition Ripley WV Morgan County Partnership Berkeley Springs WV Partnership of African American Churches Institute WV Putman Wellness Coalition Poca WV STOP Coalition Gilbert WV i Trust for America s Health at ii The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation at iii Trust for America s Health at iv 2013 West Virginia Behavioral Health Epidemiological Profile, p.104 v CDC Vital Signs at vi vii CDC Injury Prevention and Control: Prescription Drug Overdose viii ix CDC Alcohol and Public Health at x xi Providence Journal PolitiFact Rhode Island at xii xiii Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at NSDUH/2k11results/nsduhresults2011.htm#Fig Washington St E, Charleston, WV 25311

5 September 13, 2015 Facebook: Twitter: #WVDayofHope Dear Friend, Welcome to the Day of Hope initiative, which is sweeping across West Virginia! A new hope for the devastation caused by substance abuse has taken hold. The West Virginia Council of Churches and the Ohio County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition have partnered together with the goal of making a positive impact on substance abuse within our communities. The good news is that substance abuse prevention strategies can be promoted in faith communities and individual congregations. West Virginia has seen a staggering impact from substance abuse. Trust for America s Health reports that not only was West Virginia number one in drug overdose deaths in 2010, many of those deaths were related to prescription drugs. Heroin has also become a major problem in West Virginia. The DEA s National Heroin Threat Assessment Summary states that heroin use in the 1990s and 2000s spread to users in suburban and rural areas, more affluent users, younger users, and users of a wider range of races (p. 7). With the need being overwhelming and faith communities and local communities looking for answers, we believe that it will take congregations and communities working together to end this epidemic. The Day of Hope is our first step to solving this problem. September 13, 2015 Facebook: Twitter: #WVDayofHope Dear Friend, Welcome to the Day of Hope initiative, which is sweeping across West Virginia! A new hope for the devastation caused by substance abuse has taken hold. The West Virginia Council of Churches and the Ohio County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition have partnered together with the goal of making a positive impact on substance abuse within our communities. The good news is that substance abuse prevention strategies can be promoted in faith communities and individual congregations. West Virginia has seen a staggering impact from substance abuse. Trust for America s Health reports that not only was West Virginia number one in drug overdose deaths in 2010, many of those deaths were related to prescription drugs. Heroin has also become a major problem in West Virginia. The DEA s National Heroin Threat Assessment Summary states that heroin use in the 1990s and 2000s spread to users in suburban and rural areas, more affluent users, younger users, and users of a wider range of races (p. 7). With the need being overwhelming and faith communities and local communities looking for answers, we believe that it will take congregations and communities working together to end this epidemic. The Day of Hope is our first step to solving this problem.

6 Resources on the Web Resources on the Web WV Substance Abuse and Mental Health Directory, an interactive map of resources by county: Prescription Drug Abuse Hotline: WV-QUITT or text RxAbuseHelp to Narcotics Anonymous Meetings: x771 Center for Substance Abuse Prevention: Above the Influence: Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America: Partnership for Drug Free Kids: WV Day of Hope Facebook page Ohio County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition: West Virginia Council of Churches: Alcohol Anonymous Meetings: or hour hotline Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) WV: WV Substance Abuse and Mental Health Directory, an interactive map of resources by county: Prescription Drug Abuse Hotline: WV-QUITT or text RxAbuseHelp to Narcotics Anonymous Meetings: x771 Center for Substance Abuse Prevention: Above the Influence: Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America: Partnership for Drug Free Kids: WV Day of Hope Facebook page Ohio County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition: West Virginia Council of Churches: Alcohol Anonymous Meetings: or hour hotline Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) WV:

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