WVPA Sharing

GameChanger announces opening of traveling exhibit – ‘Drugs: Costs and Consequences’

Ribbon-cutting ceremony, reception scheduled for Wednesday at 3 p.m.

WV Press Release Sharing

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – GameChanger together with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the DEA Educational Foundation is opening a traveling exhibit Drugs: Costs and Consequences inside the West Virginia Culture Center at the West Virginia State Museum with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Reception scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 7, at 3 p.m.

The Exhibit, a Partnership between GameChanger, The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Drug Enforcement Administration Foundation, will provide an eye-opening look at the devastating costs of drug abuse on Families, Children and Communities.

“I can’t tell you how elated I am that we are bringing such a highly acclaimed exhibit to West
Virginia,” Governor and GameChanger Head Coach, Jim Justice said. “This is another fine example
of our commitment to Prevention Education for our children and families in West Virginia. Through GameChanger and all our excellent Prevention Groups in the state, we will continue to bring cutting edge Prevention initiatives to battle Opioid and Substance Misuse until we get rid of it completely.”

“The state of West Virginia has been hit particularly hard by the opioid crisis, directly affecting many area families,” said Special Agent in Charge Todd Scott, head of the DEA’s Louisville Division, which serves West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee. “The DEA Museum’s traveling exhibit is a great opportunity to educate future generations on addiction and the dangers of illicit drug use.”

The exhibit, which we be available to all West Virginia students as well as the general public until January 15, 2023, was developed by the DEA Museum in partnership with The DEA Educational Foundation,
The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (a part of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration,) The National Institute on Drug Abuse, The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, and The Partnership for a Drug Free America.

“The DEA Museum has taken this comprehensive exhibit to venues across the country, and we know the that the educational value is deep and inspiring. We believe its presentation in West Virginia will act as a catalyst for community conversation and action,” said Jan McKay Wrzesinski, DEA Museum Director. “West Virginia has been very welcoming, and we are pleased to partner with GameChanger to help educate children of all ages as well as families in communities throughout the state.”

GameChanger Executive Director Joe Boczek says he continues to be overwhelmed and humbled by the support and progress GameChanger has made in just three years of existence and the Drugs: Costs and Consequences Exhibit is something every student as well as all citizens in West Virginia will benefit from.

“The growth GameChanger has experienced in just three years is a tribute to our educators, business, community and political leaders and is indicative of the love so many people have for our state, especially its youth and families. The opening of Drugs: Costs and Consequences and our continued partnerships with the DEA and The Hazelden Betty Foundation only solidifies the commitment so many have made to make West Virginia the best state in the nation to live and raise a family in. “

Visited by more than 22 million people since its inception, the exhibit developed by the DEA Museum, reveals the full costs and consequences of drug abuse and presents a historical overview of the impact of drugs on society, including an in-depth look at drug production and trafficking; an overview of the science of addiction; and the costs of drug abuse on society and communities and information on DEA’s work in West Virginia. Literature will also be available detailing how through Prevention Education GameChanger is rising to meet the challenges posed by Opioid and Substance misuse in West Virginia schools and communities.

GameChanger Chairman of the Board Larry Puccio, who first approached the Governor about being Head Coach of GameChanger, says this travelling exhibit is just another shining example of the multi-faceted Prevention Education Model GameChanger is implementing in schools and communities throughout West Virginia.

“We truly believe we have a comprehensive Prevention Education Model which has the eyes of the nation’s Prevention Specialists. The GameChanger Prevention Model currently being initiated in 12
Pilot Schools though our partnership with the World Renown Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and our agreement with the Drug Enforcement Administration affording us the opportunity to bring to West Virginia such a fabulous exhibit to educate our youth and adults in addition to Operation Prevention-One Pill Can Kill is going to save lives and strengthen our communities.”

Admission to Drugs and Consequences is Free and open to the public from 9 a.m-5 p.m. Tuesday thru Saturdays beginning September 8th thru January 15th except for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s Day. More information can be found at www.gamechangerusa.org

GameChanger is a Student-Powered Misuse Prevention Education Movement connecting West Virginia students and the educators who care about them with the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation to build school environments which prevent student opioid and other drug use before it starts. Through
the highly acclaimed One Pill Can Kill Program, GameChanger is working with United States Drug Enforcement Administration to educate students about life threatening dangers posed by purchasing fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills over the internet. GameChanger achieves this objective through its Comprehensive Prevention Model and student leadership programs, delivered by global prevention leader The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and shown through research to help children make healthy choices about alcohol, opioids and other drugs. As a youth-led prevention positive development and community enhancement initiative, GameChanger is designed to educate, support and empower young West Virginians to live healthy, drug free lifestyles while preparing to be our leaders of tomorrow.

To learn more about GameChanger, visit www.gamechangerusa.org

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