Effort to raise awareness about opiate addiction is seeing success

Mid-Ohio Valley Learning About Addiction (MOVLAA) was started around midnight in late January. MOVLAA started because two people made Facebook posts regarding opiate addiction. Those two people wanted to do something, but they didn’t quite know what they should do.

Within days, MOVLAA was created. This group had two goals: 1. To gather and disseminate quality information about local addiction resources and services. 2. To bring addiction awareness to the Mid-Ohio Valley through community outreach.

The first goal we had was to create a website that had local resources for community members. We started the website www.movlaa.com. This website links to various resources that are currently available in our area. The spreadsheet shows the different types of payment options; some are even by donation only. We will be updating the website on a regular basis.

The next goal we had was to have a forum that would explain the heroin epidemic in the MOV. We contacted The News Center (WTAP) in Parkersburg. Roger Sheppard took our idea and ran with it. He was able to secure the Peoples Bank Theatre as a venue. He also put Marilee Morrow as the producer, and David Carl as the moderator. They were able to help compile speakers and produce what ended up being an amazing eye-opener for our community.

A special thanks goes out to the following people that really helped us during this forum: Larry R. Mincks, Washington County Sheriff; Cathy Harper, coordinator, The Right Path for Washington County; Tim Craft, director of DreamLife Parkersburg; Judge Ed Lane, Washington County Common Pleas Court; Dr. Robert J. Masone, president, The Ohio Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, medical director, SelfRefind, Marietta; Senator Sherrod Brown; Liz Ford, marketing director of Westbrook, Parkersburg; Jolie Kerenick, clinical director of Westbrook, Parkersburg; Chuck Larrick, CEO L&P Services, Marietta; Patrice Pooler, executive director of The Mid Ohio Valley Fellowship Home, Inc., Parkersburg; Kelli (Pitts) Allman; Kim Holbert; Drew Marshall; and Dee Hollen, for their participation during the forum.

The following people/organizations have helped us develop our organization. If we have omitted anyone, please accept our sincere apologies: Rep. Andy Thompson, Dr. Stephanie Starcher, Mayor Joe Matthews, Premier Printing Solutions, The Sweet Stop, BPOE 477, MOV Bikers, Cathy Cunningham, The Mort Report, The Masons of Marietta, and WMOA.

Just listen to the news every night.

The opiate problem is not going away. Our group is trying to help others understand the ramifications of this problem. If you would like more information, please email 4movlaa@gmail.com or visit our website at www.movlaa.com.

We meet twice a month in either Beverly or Marietta. The public is welcome to attend.

MOVLAA Board of Directors