New Program at VHCC Certifies Students to be Drug Addiction Counselors

New Program at VHCC Certifies Students to be Drug Addiction Counselors


GOVERNOR NORTHAM IS MAKING A STOP IN ROANOKE TODAY. THE GOVERNOR IS EXPECTED TO MAKE AN ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT THE OPIOID CRISIS DATA INITIATIVE AT ONE P-M. HE THEN HEADS TO VIRGINIA WESTERN COMMUNITY COLLEGE AT TWO-THIRTY TO HOST A WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT LISTENING SESSION. FOR MORE DETAILS ON THE GOVERNOR’S VISIT THROUGHOUT THE DAY… VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT W-F-X-R-T-V-DOT- COM 3 OPIOID ADDICTION CONTINUES TO BE AN ONGOING CRISIS IN VIRGINIA. WITH THE NUMBER OF OVERDOSE DEATHS RISING…ESPECIALLY IN RURAL AREAS…THE NEED FOR SUBSTANCE ABUSE COUNSELORS HAS INCREASED SIGNIFICANTLY. “VIRGINIA HIGHLANDS COMMUNITY COLLEGE” IS LOOKING TO MEET THE RISING DEMAND. 3 WFXR’S BREANA ALBIZU IS LIVE IN ROANOKE. BREANA GOOD MORNINGWHAT CAN STUDENTS LEARN FROM THIS NEW PROGRAM? 3 GOOD MORNING TEALABEGINNING LATER TODAYSTUDENTS WILL TAKE PART IN THIS TWO-SEMESTER PROGRAM THAT WILL FOCUS ON PREPARING THEM TO BE CERTIFIED SUBSTANCE ABUSE COUNSELOR- ASSISTANTS. THIS CLASS STARTING THE SAME DAY THAT GOVERNOR RALPH NORTHAM IS EXPECTED TO BE HERE IN ROANOKE AT ROANOKE COUNTY EMERGENCY SERVICES TO MAKE AN OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT THE OPIOID CRISIS DATA INITIATIVE.LIKE MANY AREAS OF THE COUNTRY, VIRGINIA HAS SEEN AN ONGOING ISSUE OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE PROBLEMS, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO OPIOIDS. ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON DRUG ABUSE, THERE WERE 1, 241 DRUG OVERDOSE DEATHS INVOLVING OPIOIDS IN VIRGINIA IN 2017. THAT NUMBER IS SLIGHTLY HIGHER THAN THE NATIONAL AVERAGE. TAUGHT BY A GROUP OF ADJUNCT PROFESSORS, STUDENTS WILL HAVE TO COMPLETE 300 HOURS OF TRAINING, 120 HOURS DONE IN A CLASSROOM SETTING AND 180 HOURS IN AN INTERNSHIP AT LOCAL AGENCY.I SPOKE WITH DR. BETH PAGE, DEAN OF PROFESSIONAL AND TECHNICAL STUDIES AT VIRGINIA HIGHLANDS, ABOUT HOW THIS PROGRAM ACTUALLY CAME OUT OF A COMMUNITY REQUEST.I SPOKE WITH DR. BETH PAGE, DEAN OF PROFESSIONAL AND TECHNICAL STUDIES AT VIRGINIA HIGHLANDS, MORE ABOUT THE ONGOING OPIOID CRISIS, PARTICULARY IN SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA.I SPOKE WITH DR. BETH PAGE, DEAN OF PROFESSIONAL AND TECHNICAL STUDIES AT VIRGINIA HIGHLANDS, ABOUT WHAT EFFECT THIS PROGRAM CAN HAVE. 3 “THERE ARE LOTS OF DIFFERENT LAYERS TO 3 THE PROBLEM. FROM POVERTY TO UNEMPLOYMENT TO PRESCRIPTION ABUSE. LOTS OF DIFFERENT FACTORS. POOR CHOICES ON THE PARTS OF PEOPLE WHO CHOOSE TO ABUSE. SO LOTS OF DIFFERENT FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO THAT IN VIRGINIA, PARTICULARLY IN SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA.” NOW AT THE END OF THE ONE-YEAR PROGRAM, STUDENTS HAVE TO TAKE AN EXAM IN ORDER TO OFFICIALLY BE CERTIFIED AS A SUBSTANCE ABUSE COUNSELOR-ASSISTANT. THE DEAN TELLS ME STUDENTS ALREADY ENROLLED IN THE CLASS ARE VERY EXCITED ABOUT THEIR FIRST DAY OF CLASS TODAY AND ENCOURAGES ALL SCHOOLS TO LOOK INTO THAT HELP TRANSITION STUDENTS INTO NEEDED CAREERS AND HELPS BRING AWARENESS TO BIG ISSUES LIKE SUBSTANCE ABUSE. STAY TUNED BECAUSE IN THE NEXT HOUR YOU’LL HEAR FROM DR. PAGE AGAIN ABOUTLIVE AND LOCAL, IN ROANOKE, BREANA ALBIZU, WFXR NEWS. 3 BREANA THANK YOUIT’S GREAT TO SEE A PROGRAM LIKE THIS ADDRESSING A VERY SERIOUS ISSUE. 3 FRESHMEN AT VIRGINIA TECH ARE 3 ARE SET TO BEGIN CLASSES….. BUT YESTERDAY THEY WERE TREATED TO THE “HOKIE HI” SPIRIT PICNIC.IT’S AN ANNUAL

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