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Huntington faith community to offer substance abuse resource fair Tuesday

The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON, W.Va.  — A resource fair connecting faith leaders with local providers and supports who work to address the opioid epidemic will be conducted from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Feb. 13, at Fifth Avenue Baptist, 1135 5th Ave. in Huntington.

In September 2017, representatives from local organizations including First Steps, the Huntington Mayor’s Office of Drug Control Policy, Marshall University, Marshall Health Addiction Services, the Huntington Black Pastors Ministerial Association, Downtown Ministerial Association and United Way of the River Cities came together to form Faith Community United of Huntington. An initial event surveyed the needs of faith leaders in the community and coordinated a five-part training opportunity to address those requests.

Trainings have focused on understanding the facts of the epidemic especially in Appalachia; humanizing those who have struggled with the disease; SBIRT, an evidence-based intervention; and community responses such as the Harm Reduction program. These trainings will culminate in a resource fair that will put a face to the helpers and promote connections between faith leaders and local supports.

“Our faith leaders are now better equipped to intervene or make a referral to a local agency when someone they know is struggling,” said Terry Collison, a Faith Community United member and director of First Steps Wellness & Recovery. “This resource fair will allow them to come face to face with those services and build more connections beyond the faith community.”

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