POINT PLEASANT — A town hall meeting addressing opiate drug use and its effects on the Mason County area will be 6:30 p.m. March 10 at Main Street Baptist Church, 1100 Main St., Point Pleasant.
Sponsored by the Mason County Prevention Coalition and Loved Ones Support Group, the meeting is open to the public. It will include a 20-minute video titled, “Heroin and Prescription Pain Killers,” as well as several speakers.
Opiates are considered to be narcotics and can be extremely addictive. They react with a body’s natural receptors and nervous system to reduce pain, and tend to create a euphoric feeling. Effects of the drugs can last hours and can be followed by exhaustion and depression. Opiates include heroin, morphine, codeine, hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet), fentanyl, tramadol, and others.
Among the speakers will be recovering addict Matt Young, according to Robin Jones, an organizer of the event and member of the Loved Ones Support Group. Young, a 1998 graduate of Point Pleasant High School, has been clean from drug use for four years. He now sits on the board of directors at The Meeting House.
The Meeting House is located at 2434 Jackson Ave., Point Pleasant, in the former St. Paul United Methodist Church. It serves as a permanent home for the recovery community, and features meetings such as Narcotics Anonymous. Also operating out of the location is “The Kitchen Table” organization which serves free hot meals to the public.
Other speakers will include a high school student who was affected by drugs through use by family members, and representatives of the Mason County Sheriff’s Department, prosecuting attorney’s office, Prestera Center, and Mason County Day Report. A question-and-answer session will follow the speakers, with a report on what is being done locally to curb drug use, as well as the programs available to addicts.
Jones is being assisted in promoting the meeting by Rita Darst of Recovery Home, and said brochures will be available aimed specifically for community members and leaders, health care professionals, and school officials.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who lives in Mason County.