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Gov. Justice announces Game Changer initiative

“I’ve been asked to be like the head coach for the State on this and I’m all-in, absolutely, without any question.”
Wednesday, Gov. Jim Justice announces the Game Changer initiative – one of the largest...
Wednesday, Gov. Jim Justice announces the Game Changer initiative – one of the largest public-private coalitions of its kind in the nation aimed at tackling opioid and substance misuse, along with other issues impacting West Virginia’s youth.(Gov. Jim Justice youtube page)
Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 5:19 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - West Virginia’s governor announced Wednesday that a series of virtual summits are set to take place this fall aimed at tackling opioid and substance misuse among the state’s young people.

The goal of the Game Changer initiative is to empower children to make healthy choices and become leaders in their communities, officials say.

Gov. Jim Justice says for the summits the state will be divided into four regions. The first of four is set to take place in September.

In addition to substance misuse, other areas that will be addressed include vaping, tobacco and alcohol use, teen suicide, and foster parenting issues.

The events will be broadcast to 157,000 middle and high school students throughout West Virginia.

“This great program, Game Changer, I think it’s a really fitting name because it’s going to make a huge difference in the lives of so many,” Gov. Justice said. “I’ve been asked to be like the head coach for the State on this and I’m all-in, absolutely, without any question.”

Game Changer is a cooperative effort between the Governor’s Office, the WVSSAC, WVDE, DHHR, West Virginia Office of Drug Control Policy, West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute, the state’s six prevention lead organizers, local, state, and federal law enforcement, and the education sector.

Gov. Justice says he will soon bring together representatives from all parties of Game Changer’s public-private coalition – including leaders in education, behavioral health, substance misuse prevention, nutrition, law enforcement, medicine, and business – for a Game Changer team meeting at the Governor’s Mansion to fine-tune additional plans to develop the initiative into a full-scale, comprehensive prevention program to ensure it will be able to continue its work benefiting the state’s youth long into the future.

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