LOGAN, W.Va. — A task force of the Logan County Prevention Coalition met recently to discuss the expenditure of $10,000 in grant funding.
The group, which works to alleviate the area’s drug problem, received the extra funding after Logan County was marked as “high need” in the area of drug overdoses.
In all, Boone, Kanawha, Cabell and Logan counties were marked as high need and each received the extra funding.
The Logan County task force is composed of key stakeholders from throughout the county’s public and private institutions including the sheriff’s department, ambulance authority, health department, Logan Regional Medical Center and the Recovery Group of Southern West Virginia.
The meeting focused on how the group of would spend the extra $10,000 in funding.
Normally, the group’s funds are restricted only to drug prevention; however, the new funds could also be spent on reducing the harm already done by drug abuse.
Possible expenditures were discussed like establishing a clean needle exchange, distributing Narcan to first responders, funding beds at the area’s sober living homes and providing educational materials to area schools.
During discussion of the needle exchange, Lisa Miller, director of the Logan County Prevention Coalition, explained a needle exchange would alleviate two problems associated with drug addition at once.
Miller noted the spread of infectious diseases like hepatitis could be greatly slowed by the introduction of the exchange and it could discourage intravenous drug users from leaving their needles as litter throughout the county.
However, the location of the Logan County Health Department inside of the Logan County Courthouse was discussed as a road block in establishing the exchange.
Sheriff Sonya Dingess Porter explained the law prohibits items like needles from being brought into the courthouse.
A mobile needle exchange was discussed; however, as many parts of the needle exchange could be free for the group, funding for the needle exchange would mostly likely not come out of the $10,000 the task force had gathered to decide how to spend.
The group approved 2/3 of funding for one bed at each of the area’s men and women’s sober living homes.
The remaining funds were approved for education material.
Miller noted books are needed that could teach children what to do if they come across medication in their homes.
The next meeting of the Logan County Prevention Coalition will be at 5 p.m. January 16 at Ghatti’s Pizza in Logan.
Owen Wells is a reporter for Civitas Media. He can be reached at 304-752-6950 ext. 1729 or by email at [email protected]