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Children need recovery too

May 31, 2017
Marla Hull , MOV Parent

The news is full of discouraging information about suspicious overdoses, individuals who were arrested because of possession or dealing drugs, those who committed crimes under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, etc. What you don't hear often are the stories about children and teens. Children who are raised in homes with addiction are more likely to become involved in addiction, to develop mental health conditions and to engage in risky behaviors, have poor emotional health and poor education. Addictions affect everyone because we all know someone who struggles. This means there are a lot of children in the MOV area that could benefit from help too.

Here are some statistics on WV:

In a study done by the non-profit Trust for America's Health, found that nationwide, youth drug overdose deaths have more than doubled among people aged 12-25. In many states including West Virginia, the rates tripled or quadrupled. The increase in deaths is most pronounced among young adults (defined as ages 19-25). West Virginia ranked at 12.56 per 100,000 youths. That's almost double the national average "The rates in West Virginia are probably higher because there is a higher level of prescribing greater use of opioids for pain control," said Jeffrey Levi, executive director for the Trust for America's Health, and one of the study's authors. In 2013, prescription painkillers were responsible for more than half of all drug overdose-related deaths, according to the report. Levi said combating youth overdose death begins with prevention rather than intervention; more than 90 percent of adults with substance abuse disorders begin abusing before the age of 18. (Drug Overdoses Claiming West Virginia's Youth, Kara Leigh Lofton, Nov. 24, 2015,

Illicit drug use - which includes the abuse of illegal drugs and/or the misuse of prescription medications or household substances - is something many adolescents engage in occasionally, and a few do regularly. By the 12th grade, about half of adolescents have abused an illicit drug at least once. The most commonly used drug is marijuana, but adolescents can find many abused substances, such as prescription medications, glues and aerosols, in the home. (

There are many local groups raising awareness and support, and one is Celebrate Recovery, a Christian-based 12-step program. It is designed to help those who have all kinds of struggles, whether it's an addiction, mental health condition, codependency, etc. Individuals and family members will find support, encouragement, and help for their struggles. At CR meetings, there are individuals who testify that the CR program and their higher power Jesus Christ has helped them. CR could help address many issues including but not exclusive to: anxiety; co-dependency; compulsive behaviors; sex addiction; financial dysfunction; drug and alcohol addictions; and eating disorders. According to CR statistics, 3.5 million people have participated in a CR step study in over 29,000 churches. Two-thirds of the participants are in recovery for something other than drugs or alcohol. CR utilizes the 12 step model and eight recovery principles.

CR has a children's curriculum for elementary school children called Celebration Place. In addition, CR has a teen curriculum called the Landing. Please note that not all CR programs are big enough to have children's classes. Here is an overview of the curriculum from CR website: It consists of a 52-week program that mirrors the CR one-year teaching schedule and curriculum plan for adults. Children can explore topics that bring healing similar to their parents in age-appropriate ways they can understand. It can educate children on how to avoid cycles of hurts, hang-ups, and habits, to draw close to Jesus during challenges, to help them explore ways to understand and express their situations, and to help develop friendships with others whose family members are working on their recovery too. The Landing, for students who are teenagers, is also a 52-week program based on the beatitudes of the Bible. The Landing is for teenagers who are struggling to live their lives in a healthy way. The Landing breaks the cycles of dysfunction, giving students the tools to face life's hurts, hang-ups and habits in a new and healthy effective way. For more information about Celebrate Recovery, visit To find locations, visit

Local meetings:

New Hope Baptist Church- Fridays at 6:30- off of Rosemar Rd- Call Bill (304-580-8000)

RVCC- Thursdays at 6:30- 1412 27th St Vienna- J.T. (304-834-4425)

New CR starting at Lynn Street Church- September 2017- Curtis (304-428-5145)

Surrounding area meetings:

There are Celebrate Recovery meetings in New Martinsville, Mason, Point Pleasant, Cambridge and Athens.

If you'd like more information about Celebrate Recovery, please contact me or the regional state representative for CR, Lou Ortenzio, at 304-677-8880.

Additional Resources:

1 Johnston, L. D., O'Malley, P. M., Miech, R. A., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2016). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975-2015: Overview, key findings on adolescent drug use. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan. Retrieved August 25, 2016, from - PDF ?

2 National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2003). Preventing drug use among children and adolescents. Bethesda, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse. Retrieved February 12, 2016, from - PDF ?.



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