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Operation Street Smart returns to Barnesville

Operation Street Smart returns to Barnesville
Nationally recognized Adult Drug Education program to be held on September 5 at Barnesville High School

BARNESVILLE, OH) – School is back in session, and youth drug use continues to be a concern for parents, educators, and community members. In response to the changing landscape of substance use, WVU Medicine Barnesville Hospital is joining forces with other area agencies to host the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office’s Operation Street Smart: Adult Drug Education Program from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 5, at the Barnesville High School Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

“As a result of HRSA’s Rural Communities Opioid Response Planning grant, we have the opportunity to fund community education focusing on not just on the problem of opiates, but also in response to current substance use issues faced by our community,” David Phillips, president of WVU Medicine Barnesville Hospital, said. “Targeting education toward substance use prevention in youth by way of educating their families and local educators is crucial to our community’s efforts to eradicate addiction for future generations.”

Having accurate information about street drugs, including current trends, concealment techniques, and evidence of use, can be crucial to preventing teen substance abuse. Operation Street Smart covers methamphetamine, fentanyl, carfentanil, marijuana, alcohol, crack cocaine, kratom, and bath salts during its two-hour nationally recognized presentation. The program received the FBI Director’s Award for Community Leadership and the Project Know Award.

Cohosts for the training include Barnesville Schools; the Mental Health and Recovery Board serving Belmont, Harrison, and Monroe counties; and the Belmont County Health Department.

“Feedback from the community was positive after our last Operation Street Smart Training in July, which was primarily attended by first responders and professionals,” Angela Hannahs, superintendent for Barnesville Schools, said. “Parents, educators, and community members also are in need of this information. They are at the forefront of the teen substance abuse problem; we want to equip them with the knowledge needed to know how to prevent and intervene when a teenager demonstrates at-risk substance use behavior.”

Recent substance use trends have shown an increase in methamphetamine abuse, while fentanyl and carfentanil (synthetic opioids) are contributing to overdoses and overdose deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report in December 2018 indicating that 28,000 deaths involving synthetic opioids occurred in 2017. West Virginia and Ohio had the highest synthetic opioid-involved overdose rate in 2017 when compared to the rest of the nation.

Danica Wharton, program director at Addiction Services of Eastern Ohio, warned, “Drug dealers are lacing their supply, oftentimes with the user being unaware that a deadly fentanyl overdose is very possible.”

Addiction Services, located behind Barnesville Hospital, is a local addiction treatment provider offering outpatient withdrawal management, counseling services, and medication assisted treatment.

To RSVP for the Operation Street Smart training, please contact Leila Miller, director of community relations for WVU Medicine Barnesville Hospital, at 740-425-5112. For more information on substance use treatment, call Addiction Services of Eastern Ohio at 740-425-5780.

—WVU MEDICINE—

For more information:
Leila Miller, Director of Community Relations, 740-425-5112,
lmiller@barnesvillehospital.com

Operation Street Smart (click to link to flyer)