Statewide project aims to tackle opioid crisis in the Mid-Ohio Valley

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Media outlets across Ohio are teaming up and meeting with their viewers, readers and listeners to better understand how the opioid crisis impacts the community.

What does addiction look like in our community? What do you see as causes of the addiction crisis here? What steps might we take to combat the addiction crisis?

A program called Your Voice Ohio wants you to come and talk to the media about those questions. In 2016 Your Voice Ohio started with six news outlets across the state talking to the public, to better understanding how people are dealing with addiction. Today, the program has collaborated with more than 40 news organizations.

Starting July 15, the program will come here for Your Voice Mid-Ohio Valley. WTAP and several other local media outlets will be attending.

It includes parts of Ohio and West Virginia, which have been ranked as No. 1 and No. 2 in the nation for overdose death rates. In Ohio and West Virginia alone, nearly 5,000 people are dying each year of opioid overdoses.

On Sunday, July 15 The Boys and Girls Club will host the Parkersburg session from 1:30-3:30.
Monday, July 16, it travels to the Belpre Masonic Lodge #609 from 6-8.
Tuesday it will be at the Washington County Fairgrounds Clubhouse in Marietta from 6-8.

Doug Oplinger, the project manager, worked for 45 years at the Akron Beacon Journal. He says, "It’s amazing watching different kinds of people with different life experiences talking in a way that just is refreshing and reaching conclusions that are shared, and people walk away feeling empowered to do something."

If you are interested in any of these events, you can register using the links attached to the article, or search Your Voice Mid-Ohio Valley on Facebook and register through that page.

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