Forums on opioid and addiction issues open to public

A series of meetings planned for July are designed for our readers and the community as a whole to have a voice in developing local solutions for the drug epidemic ravaging our state, cities and neighborhoods.

Marietta and Washington County are not immune. In fact, more than 300 people in the Marietta-Parkersburg area have fatally overdosed on drugs in the last four years and dozens more survive overdoses and continue to abuse drugs on a daily basis.

The Marietta Times is joining other representatives of the Mid Ohio Valley media to participate in Your Voice MOV, an effort to bring members of the community together to discuss the issue of opioid use and other addiction issues.

The goal is to develop solutions.

In West Virginia and Ohio alone, nearly 5,000 people die each year of opioid overdoses. That ranks our states number 1 and number 2 respectively in the country. This is a story local media has covered over the years, but we want to learn what our readers and other community members want to see accomplished in terms of developing solutions.

We urge you to sign up to attend at least one of three community meetings planned:

– Sunday, July 15, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg

– Monday, July 16, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Belpre Masonic Lodge

– Tuesday, July 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Washington County Fairgrounds clubhouse.

At the sessions, those who attend will be asked to participate in discussions describing the addiction crisis in our community, potential causes and possible solutions. We ask that you sign up for one or more of the meetings in advance. Information is available by going to The Marietta Times Facebook page or by calling the newspaper at 740-373-2121, ext. 500.