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Press Release

Harrison County leaders announce innovative initiative to deter substance abuse

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of West Virginia

BRIDGEPORT, WEST VIRGINIA – In the continued effort to find creative responses to substance abuse, community leaders announced a program in which free drug testing kits will be distributed to Harrison County, West Virginia residents, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, and Bridgeport Police Chief John Walker announced today.

The drug tests are simple and non-invasive with results available in less than 20 minutes. The test screens for a variety of commonly abused substances including marijuana, opioid painkillers, stimulants, tranquilizers, cocaine, methadone, and PCP.  The kits also contain information on how parents can open a productive dialogue to discuss substance abuse with their children as well as helpful suggestions to locate educational and treatment resources. The kits contain a pre-stamped envelope to voluntarily report test results. However, no personal information is collected or tracked.

“We have to use every avenue available to protect our community from the destruction caused by drug abuse,” said Chief Walker.  “While enforcement plays a huge role in reducing the sale of illegal narcotics, this program gives our youth a reason to say no. It also helps to open up a line of communication between parents and children about the dangers of using drugs.”

The testing kits are provided through a partnership with the Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program and will be distributed at the following locations:

  1. Bridgeport Police Department, 515 West Main Street, Bridgeport, WV 26330
  2. Stonewood Police Department, 112 Southern Avenue, Stonewood, WV 26301
  3. Clarksburg Police Department, 222 West Main Street, Clarksburg, WV 26301
  4. Bridgeport Family Pharmacy, 139 Conference Center Way, Bridgeport, WV 26330
  5. Community Pharmacy, 1212 Johnson Ave., Bridgeport, WV 26330
  6. Salem Colonial Pharmacy, 120 East Main Street, Salem, WV 26426
  7. Village Pharmacy, 36 Railroad St., Lost Creek, WV 26385
  8. Byard Mercer Pharmacy, 440 W. Main Street, Clarksburg, WV 26301
  9. Town & Country Pharmacy, 100 Cost Avenue, Stonewood, WV 26301
  10. Harrison-Clarksburg Health Department, 330 West Main Street, Clarksburg, WV 26301

In addition to distributing the free drug testing kits, several other programs were announced on Tuesday:

  • The “Handle with Care” program will be implemented in the region, and as a result a formal system will be put into place to so that school officials will be notified whenever police officers respond to a dangerous or drug-involved situation where a child is present.  School officials will know that a child has been involved in a potentially traumatic situation and that he or she needs to be handled with care.
  • The Appalachia HIDTA educational trailer will be coming to Harrison County and other parts of Northern West Virginia in the near future.  The trailer is designed to inform students about substance abuse in an interactive manner.
  • A drug prevention competition will take place for the first time in West Virginia and high schools in Harrison County will participate.  This competition will involve students designing educational programming that addresses substance abuse prevention. Students will then present their ideas at a regional competition and one school will be declared the champion.


Updated January 8, 2016