W.Va. AG Partners With WVSSAC To Push Opioid Alternatives At Super Six Championships

Updated 46 weeks ago Edited from a Press Release
CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission will join forces this weekend to raise awareness as to the danger of unnecessary prescription painkiller use among high school athletes.

The Attorney General’s Office will staff an informational booth at the Super Six High School Football Championships in Wheeling. The office also intends to discuss the dangers of using opioid painkillers to treat high school sports injuries and partner with the WVSSAC for in-game public address announcements concerning the topic.
“It’s very important that we educate the community about the dangers of opioid abuse and highlight non-opioid alternatives,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Knowing there are other effective options could make a big difference in someone never going down the path of abuse to begin with.”
The action kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday with Fairmont Senior vs. Bluefield for the Class AA title. Saturday’s games feature Spring Valley vs. Martinsburg for the Class AAA title at noon followed by Wheeling Central vs. St. Marys for the Class A title at 7 p.m.
The Attorney General’s “Opioid Abuse Prevention Game of the Week” initiative featured 52 regular-season matchups throughout West Virginia in 2017. It also followed the Attorney General teaming with WVSSAC and other groups to tackle opioid use in high school athletics, including the West Virginia Board of Medicine.
“We can never have too many opportunities to educate our student athletes, youth and the community at large on the dangers of opioid abuse,” said Bernie Dolan, executive director for the WVSSAC. “I’m proud to partner with Attorney General Morrisey in helping others realize the benefits of non-opioid alternatives and treatment options.”
The Attorney General’s regular-season initiative engaged with student athletes, coaches, school officials and communities across West Virginia. Field representatives discussed the dangers of opioid use with the respective coaches and provided educational material for display and distribution in the schools to foster more discussion of the issue.
The week culminated with the Attorney General’s Office staffing an information booth at each of the selected sporting events to distribute opioid abuse awareness materials.
Opioid painkillers may temporarily relieve pain, but do nothing to address the underlying injury and can have serious side effects. The medication also carries striking similarities to heroin.
The Attorney General and his partners worry the unnecessary usage of opioid painkillers to treat athletic injuries could lead to increased dependence, abuse and addiction. In fact, a New York University study found, “three-quarters of high school heroin users started with a prescription opioid.”
This initiative pushes other forms of pain management. Alternatives include physical therapy, non-opioid painkillers, acupuncture, massage therapy and over-the-counter medication.
Parents and caregivers are urged to discuss alternative treatment plans with their child’s healthcare provider. If an opioid proves necessary, they are encouraged to strictly use the medication as directed, closely monitor their child’s use, safely dispose of any unused pills and talk about the inherent dangers of misuse, abuse and sharing.
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