Students learn how to fight substance abuse at opioid awareness summit

MONONGALIA COUNTY, W.Va. (WDTV)-- "There are people in your life that you know right now today who can be your person."

Teens from all over the state, coming together over a two day period to help stop the sickening disease of opioid abuse. Today marked the first day of the statewide Opioid Awareness Summit.

Hundreds of students listened to several speakers tell their stories and learned how they can help others who are living and struggling with substance abuse.

"It's bad everywhere in the United States and it's very bad in West Virginia," said Joe Boczek. "We have 192 people dying per day in the United States due to opioids."

President of JB Business Strategies, Joe Boczek, says the summit not only can inspire students to make goals and healthy choices but can also help children who live in a household struggling with substance abuse.

"Their mom or their dad or their grandparents are all using opioids and so they don't get breakfast in the mornings sometimes or they're sent off to school in a sad state they come home to no dinner," said Boczek. "We have to act to make sure that this does not tear our family unit apart in West Virginia."

8th grade student, Nate Mcpeak, says that it's important to know the resources to help someone who's dealing with substance abuse and says that it makes him feel good to know that he can help anyone.

"It makes me feel really good that I could change someones life like that and help them if they're struggling that bad."

Others say that they know people are struggling and that the summit can help save someones life from the opioid epidemic.

"My friends and I we know things that are happening, and I just hope we figure out a way to prevent others from going down the wrong path," said student, Abbi Martin. "You could be saving a life and that means a lot to me."