CHARLESTON — Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia and the Charleston Resident Agency of the FBI Pittsburgh have created a video illustrating the dangers of opioid abuse in an effort to educate West Virginia middle and high school youth about the dangers of opioid use.
The video highlights the far-reaching effects it can have on the individual, family members and community.
“In addition to students realizing the detrimental effects of drug use on themselves, employers must also understand and not underestimate the direct impact it has on the families and work lives of its employees,” said Jim Fawcett, president of Highmark West Virginia. “We have employees who have directly dealt with family drug use and who, through this, have a better understanding of how to navigate these turbulent waters. If this video helps a student or family in West Virginia, then this project was worth our efforts.
The video was created earlier this year and features real-life personal stories of hazardous opioid use and addiction, educational resources, and various prevention-focused tools available for students and families. The video concept was developed after Highmark West Virginia received an award for a previous education initiative for educators and students in the Pittsburgh area.
The project is a collaboration between the West Virginia Department of Education that will provide resources to 1,100 teachers and ultimately students across West Virginia.
The Charleston Resident Agency and the Highmark West Virginia Pharmaceutical Financial Investigation Team conducted educational sessions in schools through a partnership with the West Virginia Department of Education. This latest video project is another approach to reaching students in a very impactful way, lending a professional lens to the matter. The video also provides another tool to help West Virginia health educators meet their education requirements on the dangers of opioid use, the addictive characteristics of opioids, and safer alternatives to treat. pain.
“The FBI is committed to finding new ways to approach the opioid crisis,” said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Mike Nordwall. “There is no doubt that the drug trade is an inherently violent business. Families are forced to see and deal with the problem on a daily basis. We all see the benefits of growing partnerships between law enforcement and the public health and mental health sectors. Working together in this fight is essential because no agency can do it alone. It will take the whole community.
The video is publicly available and is also being shown to educators in West Virginia as they prepare for the return of schools to enable them to better understand, educate and support their students regarding abuse and abuse of opioids. The video is available at https://youtu.be/pZz6k-vKs3k
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia serves 240,000 members through the company’s healthcare benefits business and hundreds of thousands more members through the BlueCard program.